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Scissor Lift Safety Rules Every Operator Should Know
08 June 2017, posted by Gary Pope

Scissor lifts feature a stable working platform that is limited to vertical up and down movements. As such, they are often recommended for maintenance and cleaning tasks. Special care is required in the operation of these machines in order to avoid accidents before, during and after use. All operators must be aware of the correct safety measures, including:

  • Inspect equipment prior to operation

Before you commence operation, the lift should be inspected for any faults or potential problems. If you do notice something amiss, it is essential that you inform your supervisors and remove the machine from operation immediately. Never attempt to make repairs yourself; this should only be handled by an experienced mechanic.

  • Inspect worksite prior to operation

You should also inspect the worksite to determine whether the conditions are safe or not. Debris, uneven surfaces and overhead obstructions (such as power lines) must be considered prior to lift operation. If you find unsafe conditions that cannot be rectified (ie removing debris from the site), this must be reported to your supervisors.

  • Non-personnel must be kept clear

Before you begin or resume works, ensure that any non-personnel have been escorted from the worksite. Any workers who do not need to be onsite should also be asked to leave for their own safety. Anyone who is not involved with the operation of the scissor lift must maintain a distance of at least 6 feet to ensure that they are out of harms way.

  • Never overload the platform

Every platform has a maximum weight capacity that should never be exceeded. Should there be any exceptions due to the nature of the work in question, it is best to contact the manufacturer for more information. You should also avoid carrying materials that are not permitted on the lift; contact the manufacturer if you believe there to be an exception.

  • Keep both feet firmly planted on the platform

Operators must keep both of their feet firmly planted on the platform when using the lift. Do not sit, climb or stand on the guardrails. Do not use planks, ladders or other devices to gain more height. As well as being an important safety precaution, this can also help to maximise your efficiency (as you won’t be worried about falling or balance).

  • Secure the equipment after operation

Once operation is complete, ensure that the controls are returned to their “off” or “neutral” position. Never leave the key anywhere on the lift to prevent unauthorised use. If the machine were to fall into the wrong hands (particularly if they’re also untrained), there could be some serious safety and legal repercussions to contend with.

If scissor lifts are used regularly in the course of your work, ensure that your operators are aware of the above safety rules and precautions. Although these machines are incredibly useful for a variety of different tasks, they can be dangerous if used incorrectly or by those without proper training. The safety of your operators, other workers and the public should be paramount.