Five Common Causes of Aerial Lift Accidents


Aerial work platforms are vital pieces of equipment that are utilized all over New York, whether for construction or maintenance. The most common types of lifts include boom (telescopic or articulating) lifts, cherry pickers, scissor lifts, and spider lifts.

While this equipment is crucial for jobs that require workers to operate at a particular elevation, working on or near aerial lifts can be extraordinarily dangerous. Workers’ safety depends on proper inspection of the Jobsite, maintenance of the equipment being used, the skill of the person operating the lift, and awareness of those working below.

When proper safety procedures are not followed, or if others nearby are negligent (for example: distracted drivers who fail to see workers on lifts in traffic), serious or fatal injury accidents could easily occur.

Causes of Aerial Lift Accidents in New York

The five most common causes of aerial lift accidents include:

  • Electrocutions — Aerial lifts often operate at tremendous heights and some lifts are placed perilously close to functioning power lines. Contact with a power line is a common cause of electrocution accidents on aerial lifts. Injuries could stem from a failure to wear proper personal protection equipment, lifts not being set up on the stable ground, or possible contact with power lines caused by lifts tipping over. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the electric power industry usually includes safety glasses, face shields, hard hats, safety shoes, insulated rubber gloves with leather protectors, insulating sleeves, and flame-resistant clothing.
  • Falls from Aerial Lifts — People can fall from aerial lifts because of sudden jolts to the lifts, such as the aerial lifts being struck by motor vehicles, cranes, or other objects. Workers must ensure that access gates are closed, body harnesses or restraining belts are attached to booms or buckets, and they are not leaning on or climbing over guard rails.
  • Aerial Lift Tip-Overs — Tip-over accidents involving aerial lift tipping over, possibly because of a bucket cable or boom breaking. Workers can avoid these accidents by never setting up aerial lifts between overhead hazards, exceeding load capacity limits, using aerial lifts on uneven terrains, or raising platforms in windy conditions.
  • Getting Caught Between the Lift and an Object — There may be cases in which people in aerial lifts end up being caught between their lift and another object such as a roof, wall, or beam. Many of these accidents are caused by improper lift movement, but people should be aware of such hazards before operating aerial lifts.
  • Being Struck by Objects Outside the Bucket — Many of these types of accidents involve workers who are dealing with objects coming loose from structures. Aerial lifts are often used for maintenance work, and people need to prepare in advance for possible falling objects and have plans in place to avoid possible accidents.

Contact an Aerial Lift Accident Lawyer

If you suffered serious injuries or your loved one was killed in an aerial lift accident in New York City, you will want to make sure that you quickly seek the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. Time is limited to take action, so call Finz & Finz, P.C., right away. You can have us discuss all of your rights with you when you call (855) TOP-FIRM or contact us online to take advantage of a free consultation.

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.