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!

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