PPE: What is the importance of operator safety?

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) serve the purpose of shielding aerial lift operators against the various risks they face in their profession. PPE are not THE protection but one among others. In other words, they are just a supplement to other safety measures that must be considered by you, the employers, by your employees when they are on-site, and by us, the manufacturers, in supplying you with machines capable of working at height safely.

In this article, we want to remind you of the importance of such equipment when using an aerial lift.

What forms do PPE take?

Given that these are pieces of equipment that can be both worn and carried, PPE come in different forms. These forms, moreover, have no impact on their protective role:

  • Earplugs
  • Safety glasses
  • Respiratory protection devices
  • Fall arrest systems…

All these protective devices are designed to shield workers from various occupational hazards:

  • Inhalation of biological agents
  • Inhalation or direct contact with chemicals
  • Burns
  • Radiation

In our case of using aerial lifts, PPE help prevent or reduce risks of:

  • Falling from a great height
  • Falling objects
  • Aerial lift overturning
  • Ejections from the basket
  • Structural failures of the lift
  • Electrocutions
  • Entanglements
  • Contact with objects
  • Contact with walls

What is the relationship between PPE and prevention?

As an employer, it is your role to assess the risks your employees may face when using an aerial lift. From this analysis, you will be able to make better decisions regarding risk prevention measures to ensure their work.

The priority should always be collective protection. That is, the protection of your operators, other road users, and buildings.

In reality, the use of personal protective equipment is not mandatory, but as an aerial lift manufacturer, we are aware of their importance in reducing risks for work at height. We can only recommend that you use PPE, even when the risk assessment of a worksite appears low to you.

There are indeed special provisions concerning PPE in many texts or recommendations from the CNAMTS (French National Health Insurance Fund for Employees). These in no way exempt the employer from carrying out a risk assessment of each work situation to determine the appropriate individual protective measures.