What Is an Aerial Lift Inspection Certification? (With FAQs)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 18 July 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Aerial lifts, also known as mobile elevating work platforms, enable individuals to perform various tasks, such as pruning branches or cleaning windows. There are two main types of aerial lifts, namely boom lifts and scissor lifts. Knowing what an aerial lift inspection certification is can help you learn about the benefits of pursuing this certification. In this article, we discuss what an aerial lift inspection certification is, discuss the requirements to undertake this course, answer some frequently asked questions and provide the steps to inspect an aerial lift.

What is an aerial lift inspection certification?

The aerial lift certification is a qualification you can gain that enables you to check lifts to ensure that they're functioning properly. This inspection also entails checking the surroundings of the aerial lift operation to ensure that there aren't any hazards. Based on the assessment, you can remove the nearby hazards or inform the supervisor of any repairs that are necessary to perform on the lift.

There are separate courses to operate and inspect the different types of aerial lifts, such as the WSQ-Operate Boom Lift course and the WSQ-Operate Scissor Lift course. These courses are part of the Singapore Work Skills Qualifications (WSQ) and are valid for five years. These courses aim to equip participants with essential skills and knowledge to safely operate and inspect boom lifts and scissor lifts.

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What are the requirements for gaining an aerial lift operation certificate?

There are several requirements to meet to enrol for this course but the requirements may vary slightly depending on the course provider. Here's a list of the general requirements:

  • minimum age of 18 years old

  • Singaporeans, permanent residents or holders of valid employment passes or work permits

  • basic knowledge of the relevant field

  • able to listen, speak, read and write English at a proficiency equivalent to the Employability Skills (ES) level 3 and above, for English courses

  • able to manipulate numbers at a proficiency level equivalent to ES level 3 and above

  • medically fit to work at height

If you're above the age of 70, some course providers may request for you to present a medical certificate of physical fitness. The course providers also conduct the boom lift and scissor lift operation courses in various languages apart from English, such as Mandarin, Malay, Tamil, Bengali, Thai and Burmese.

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FAQs about aerial lift certification courses

Here are some frequently asked questions about aerial lift certification:

How much does an aerial lift operation certification cost?

The cost of the course costs anywhere from $260 to $390 before GST, depending on the course provider. If you're a Singaporean aged above 25, you can use your SkillsFuture Credit to offset the payment for this course. The level of subsidy for the SkillsFuture funding depends on different factors such as the course itself, your age and the type of organisation you work for.

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What's the duration of the course?

Both courses are one-day courses which span nine hours. This includes a one-hour assessment. It typically starts at 8.30 a.m. and ends at 6.30 p.m.

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What does the assessment for the course entail?

There are different assessments for the theoretical and practical aspects. As for the theoretical test, trainees take a multiple-choice written assessment. There's also a practical assessment that involves operating the equipment. To successfully complete the course, it's necessary for participants to meet the attendance requirement and obtain a grade of Competent for both the written and practical assessment. At the end of the course, you receive a Statement of Attainment (SOA) under the WSQ framework.

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How to inspect an aerial lift

Here are the steps you can take to inspect an aerial lift:

1. Inspect the equipment

It's necessary to conduct an inspection before the start of each work shift as this can ensure that the parts of the lifts are working properly. This can also inform the necessary personnel if there's a need to take any maintenance actions. The parts of the lift may include articulating or extendable lift platforms and aerial ladders. When inspecting the parts of the lift, you may want to do the following:

  • Determine if the fluid levels for the oil, fuel, hydraulic fluid and coolant are sufficient.

  • Check if fluid is leaking.

  • Ensure that the pressure of the tyre is in the correct range.

  • Inspect the wheels for any damages or loose lug nuts.

  • Check that the battery has been charged sufficiently.

  • Ensure that the controls at the base of the lift are in working order.

  • Check that the horns, lights, alarms and brakes are functioning well.

  • See if there are any cracked welds, dents and corrosion on the structural components.

  • Look for any damage or improper installation of electrical wires and cables.

  • Check the tilt sensor to ascertain that the alarm sounds when the lift is pushed to one side.

  • Determine that the emergency stop button at the ground controls cuts off power to the aerial lift and prevents any use of the switches and buttons.

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2. Check the work platform

The next step is to inspect the operating controls. Consider creating a checklist that you can use when performing the inspection. This way, you can ensure that you've checked every component, and it can help you perform the inspection in an orderly and efficient way. Here are the parts to check at this stage:

  • operating and emergency controls, including switches, buttons and alarms

  • personal protection devices (PPD), such as guardrails, cages and safety belts

  • fuel, hydraulic, air, pneumatic and electrical systems

  • components for insulation

  • fasteners and locking pins

  • PPD harnesses and cables

It's also vital to check the warning signs and lift instructions. Ensure that none of them are missing or damaged as they're essential for operators to work safely. If there are missing or damaged parts, inform your supervisor as it's necessary to conduct repairs before operators can use the lift.

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3. Inspect the work area

The next stage of the inspection involves checking the area in which the aerial lift is going to be in operation. This is crucial as it helps to protect the professionals who are in the lift and on the ground. This step also ensures that passers-by are safe. Here are some things to look out for:

  • holes, drop-offs or unstable surfaces

  • loose soil or gravel

  • ceiling heights that are too low

  • slopes, uneven or slippery surfaces

  • debris or other objects on the ground

  • hazardous weather conditions, such as thunderstorms or strong winds

  • unauthorised personnel

  • high foot traffic areas

  • overhead obstructions such as tall trees or bridges

When inspecting the area around where the team is planning to set up the aerial lift, ensure that the lift is stable by setting the outriggers on a firm, level surface. If necessary, use pads and make sure you set the brakes. Sometimes, you may require working on sloping surfaces. In such cases, use wheel chocks to prevent the wheels of the aerial lift from moving accidentally. Ensure that you place cones and warning signs around the work zone for the safety of passers-by.

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4. Inspect personal protective devices

Lastly, it's essential to check the personal protective devices (PPD), which help to protect operators and other professionals on the aerial lift if an accident occurs. Here's a list of common PPD:

  • body belt with a tether attached to the lift

  • body harnesses and lanyards

  • guardrails

  • insulating gloves, boots and uniforms

  • safety helmets

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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