Scissor Lift Safety and Procedures

Birmingham City Council - New office building construction site at Birmingham Science Park Aston - panelling up on Heneage Street West

When using any type of aerial work platform, safety comes before everything. In this case, we’re talking specifically about scissor lifts. Anyone who has worked in construction might be very familiar with one of these. It’s a platform that goes up vertically, and as it extends, its supports become crossed like an “X.” The larger ones are usually operate with hydraulics, but smaller scissor lifts do exist (such as portable scissor lift tables.) These machines are extremely useful, but unfortunately can be dangerous. Read below to learn the proper procedure and safety tips when operating a scissor lift.

Initial Check

Before getting on a scissor lift, you want to make sure everything is in good condition. Check to see if all parts are in place and everything look normal. Make sure you’re operating the lift on even, hard ground. Make sure there are absolute no holes in the ground, or other dangers anywhere near the lift. Then, look out for the weather. If there’s any chance of lightning, rain, or wind, don’t operate the lift. Fog is also a problem. You need maximum visibility. Above all, one scissor lift may operate differently than another. Make sure someone who will be performing the inspection is qualified and certified to operate one of these lifts.

Using the Lift

First, you need to set the brakes. Then remember, all scissor lifts have a capacity you need to follow. Going over the capacity puts anyone on the lift at great risk. When raising the lift, be aware that the a greater height means less stability. Also be aware of the guard rails. They’re in place for a reason, so don’t lean over them! Be aware of where you’re putting your work tools on the lift, as well. For instance, if you have a paint can, keep it near you. You don’t really want to be moving all around the lift, if you can avoid it. When it comes time to move the lift to a new area, always make sure the lift comes down and the worker gets off before moving it.

Other Things To Know

As with many things in life, people that use scissor lifts regularly begin to get lazy. Be aware – this should never become true for you. You should always be alert when operating a lift, or standing on one. Never operate the machine while it’s on another platform, such as a truck. Never override the safety devices of the lift. Never use anything on the lift’s platform to extend the height of the lift – even if it’s just a small stool or a ladder.

Hopefully you found this guide helpful. Make sure you’re always properly trained to use or operate a scissor lift. If you’re unsure of something, be sure to ask a qualified professional to help you out.

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!

How to Properly Use an Overhead Crane

CraningWhen you think of overhead cranes, most of you probably envision the enormous cranes that sit in a construction zone in a big city. If this is what you think of, you’re right on point. Besides helping to lift heavy objects from one area to another, cranes are also known for being extremely dangerous. In order to properly use cranes, follow these guidelines below!

Know the load capacity

This is one of the most important points to using a crane safely. By making sure of what your capacity is and not exceeding it, you will eliminate opportunity for danger. Before using the crane, also make sure to test hoist brakes and if they don’t hold properly, slowly lower the load and report the situation to the manufacturer of the crane. This can help to determine whether this issue has already been reported and if so, what the cause is.

Inspect equipment daily

Each day you’re using a crane, make it a routine to check the equipment for any potential problems with the machinery. Pneumatic and hydraulic parts should be dry and never leaking, and when operating, you should see nothing but smooth movement. Another key item to look for when inspecting is for any unusual sounds which could indicate a problem.

Remove loose materials

Before lifting a load, remove any loose materials or parts that shouldn’t be there. Sling and hoisting ropes should be completely free of slack and the lifting device should be right in the hook’s saddle and no where else.

Prepare for an emergency

Sure, it might sound a little dramatic to always be thinking about the worst case scenario, but when it comes to operating a piece of machinery like this, you should always be prepared. In case of an emergency, make sure all staff on duty is trained to handle an emergency situation whether it’s electrical, mechanical or a power failure.

Be aware of overhead power lines

While working outside, you have to be familiar with overhead power lines and the voltage of them. Before even starting the work, have the lines de-energized and erect insulated barriers to the lines. Also keep in mind that since the crane might bob or weave, be extremely cautious when moving on an uneven ground.

Switch “off”

This might be the most important tip when ending your day on-site. It’s easy to forget to turn things off, just like it is at home. Before you leave at the end of your shift, switch ALL controls to the off position, and always remove the load hanging from the crane’s hooks.

Eric is the owner of J&L Moving Supplies. You can find him on , Facebook or Twitter, so be sure to connect with him!