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Scissor Lift Safety Tips

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Scissor Lift Safety Tips

Scissor lifts are regularly used inside warehouses and on construction job sites to help workers perform work at heights. There are three types of scissor lifts: hydraulic, which uses hydraulic oil to lift the platform up and down; mechanical, which includes all electrical and diesel-operated lifts; and pneumatic, which use air pressure to lift the platform.

Scissor lifts are useful for work in small areas as they are easily maneuverable. They are simple to use, but can be dangerous when not properly maintained and serviced, used inappropriately, or used by an untrained operator. Despite the dangers of scissor lifts, there are many things you can do to stay safe while using one.

  • Always perform a pre-work inspection. Never begin work with a scissor lift without first making sure all its components are in proper working order.
  • Do not use a lift if you are not properly trained. Know the manufacturer’s operating guidelines—they’re meant to ensure safety and save lives.
  • Never operate a scissor lift in inclement weather. Wind can easily knock down a raised scissor lift. If the forecast calls for rain or gusty conditions, avoid using the scissor lift outdoors. Most scissor lifts have a wind rating of 30 mph or lower.
  • Do not overload the lift. Check the lift’s specifications to determine how much weight can be loaded onto the platform. Never exceed this number—doing so could cause the lift to tip over.
  • Always keep the lift lowered when moving. Moving on uneven land could cause the lift to tip over if raised. Always follow the manufacturer’s safe operating guidelines.
  • Do not stand or lean against guardrails. Move closer to your target to avoid breaking the guardrails, which are not meant to be weight-bearing.
  • Select work locations that are clear of electrical power sources. The lift should be at least 10 feet away from power lines, transformers, and other overhead hazards, such as branches, overhangs, etc.
  • Avoid performing work on an unstable or uneven surface. These hazards include drop-offs or holes, slopes, bumps or ground obstructions, or debris. Always set the brakes before lifting. Brakes add an extra layer of security to prohibit the lift from moving while you’re working.
  • Don’t be complacent. Always keep safety in mind when using any type of lift. Stay focused on the job at hand.

If you feel uncomfortable, don’t use the lift. Being unfamiliar with a lift can lead to improper use and injury. If you are unsure whether you can properly operate a scissor lift, tell a supervisor.

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