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Scissor Lifts Allow Workers to Work at Heights Safely

Common Hazards Scissor Lift Operators Should Understand

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Man Lifts

Man Lifts

Scissor lifts are an excellent alternative to ladders and manually propelled scaffolds. They provide a safe and stable work platform when used in accordance with manufacturer's recommendations.

Lowered Scissor Lift With Two Painters Wearing Fall Protection

Only trained and authorized operators can use scissor lifts! Employees must receive training in the safe operation of the lifts so they will understand and avoid unsafe conditions that could lead to injuries.

OSHA Standard Section 5(a)(1) Each employer shall furnish to each of his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees.

Common hazards found with scissor lifts include:

  • Electrocution from accidental contact with energized wires
  • Tip-over hazards from driving on steep or unstable surfaces
  • Collisions or struck-against hazards
  • Fall hazards from improper use of the lifts

Always look for overhead power lines and electricity lines feeding adjacent buildings and structures. Danger signs should be posted warning scissor lift operators of potential hazards.

Avoid tip-over hazards!

Danger Sticker on Scissor Lift Warning of Tip-over Hazard
  • Never alter or disable warning devices or limit switches - they are there to help avoid tip-over hazards.
  • Survey the area where the lift will be used before moving or driving the lift to identify and avoid potential hazards such as curbs, pot-holes, excavations, or floor holes.
  • Never use a scissor lift on uneven surfaces.

Never sit or climb on the edge of the basket or use planks, ladders, or other devices ON a scissor lift.

Ensure guard rails, safety chains, and gates are closed and locked for proper fall protection when operating a lift.

Many scissor lifts are equipped with controls that can be used from the ground so you can maneuver the lift though tight areas safely.

OSHA Standard 1926.452(w)(5) Scaffolds shall be stabilized to prevent tipping during movement. (6) Employees shall not be allowed to ride on scaffolds unless… the surface on which the scaffold is being moved is within 3 degrees of level, and free of pits, holes, and obstructions.

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