In the painting and coating field, aerial lifts are vital for the completion of most projects, and they are also the source many of the industry’s most serious work-related injuries. Certification training for aerial lifts, including scissor lifts, is one way for contractors to create a safer work environment.

California, like many states, recognizes a difference between a competent equipment operator and a qualified equipment operator. Although a competent equipment operator has the experience to operate machinery in a reasonably safe manner, that operator has not received any formal documented training with the equipment. A qualified machine operator has the documented training that is required to be in full compliance with OSHA standards.

Certification courses for aerial lifts typically cover the types of lifts in the workplace, review the weight limits of various machines and detail safe operating practices. These courses vary in length from 4 to 16 hours, depending on the number and type of aerial lift machines covered as part of the course.

Aerial lift certification courses which “train the trainer” are also available. These types of certification courses are usually more involved than simple operator training, and are therefore more expensive and more time intensive. The time investment for these courses ranges from 8 to 16 hours.

Coming Up: A Closer Look at Aerial Lift Certification Courses