What is a cherry picker?
A cherry picker is a hydraulic crane with railed platform at its end point. It is used for raising and lowering workers who need to carry out work at height, especially where scaffolding is inappropriate, such as on overhead cables or other more inaccessible areas. Cherry pickers are also sometimes referred to as boom lifts.
Types of cherry picker
Cherry Pickers can either be ‘static’ or ‘mobile’. The type of cherry picker to be used will dictate the type of training required.
The main accreditor of training courses is IPAF. This is, in essence, a stamp of approval for any training course you are looking to enlist in. IPAF ensures that training providers are up to scratch and providing the relevant level of training to mitigate against accidents and injuries resulting from working at height. When you undertake a training course in cherry pickers accredited by IPAF you will receive a personalised card that is recognised by all in the industry.
Why train in cherry pickers
All working at height involves serious risk and that certainly includes working on static or mobile cherry pickers. Most of these risks can be dramatically reduced with relevant training that teaches delegates how to check their equipment for faults and wear and tear, how to ensure that environmental conditions are checked and adjustments are made for wind and terrain and a whole host of other pearls of wisdom that will ensure best practice and safety for the operator and others on site.
IPAF training in cherry pickers can be provided by many of the UK’s major hire companies. It is always worth contacting your local hire company or browsing on the internet to see which companies provide training near you. Training is often provided in dedicated centres but can also sometimes be arranged at your place of work. Whether you need the static boom cherry picker course (IPAF 1B), mobile boom cherry picker course (IPAF 3B) or both, the course will be able to be completed over the course of one day.
In addition to the more general cherry picker courses that will suffice in most situations there are two further courses that could be of relevance depending on individual circumstance. Firstly, there is the PAL+ course, which in essence is an advanced training program for cherry picker operators. This is aimed at trained operators who by necessity must work in higher risk environments or on especially challenging terrain. This course goes into greater detail and tests the delegates’ ability to respond to difficult conditions. In addition, there is the IPAF MEWPs for managers course. This involves training in the supervisory recommendations for working at height on the whole range of machinery, including cherry pickers. It is always important that not only the operators but also the managers on site are fully trained in the appropriate working at height courses to ensure that everyone on site is kept as safe as possible.