Whilst scissor lifts are incredibly useful for performing a number of jobs, from painting to stacking shelves, it is important to remember that they can be dangerous if not used correctly. There are a number of hazards associated with these lifts, including: falling from an elevated height, falling objects, tipping over, collapses, electrocution, contact with objects and entanglements. In this article, we have outlined the steps you need to carry out during operation.
▪ Ensure that any access gates or other openings are closed prior to starting up the lift. It is good practice to close them behind you at all times.
▪ Ensure that you stand firmly on the floor of the platform; never sit down on the floor or stand on one foot.
▪ Never use planks, ladders or other devices from the platform; if you cannot reach, either move the lift or swap to a more appropriate machine.
▪ Never climb on or lean over the guardrails, as this can increase your chances of accidentally falling out.
▪ Always wear a body harness or restraining belt with a lanyard that is attached to the boom or platform, and never undo the harness or belt.
▪ Never exceed the load capacity limits; always take the combined weight of the worker(s), tools and materials into account when calculating the load.
▪ Do not drive the scissor lift with the platform raised (unless the manual specifically allows this).
▪ Never operate the lower level controls unless m the worker(s) on the platform say so. The only exception is in an emergency situation.
▪ Never operate the lift in winds above those specified by the manufacturer, as this is incredibly dangerous.
▪ Do not carry objects that are larger than the platform, as this increases the risk of tipping over and other accidents.
▪ Always be aware of the overhead clearance and of any overhead objects, including the ceiling.
▪ Do not position scissor lifts between overhead hazards if at all possible; this will lessen the risk of something going wrong.
▪ Always treat overhead power lines and communication cables as live; stay at least 10 feet (3 metres) away.
▪ Ensure that utility or power line workers have de-energized power lines that are in the vicinity of your work area.
Stability in the Work Zone
▪ Always set the lift’s outriggers on pads or on a solid, level surface to ensure its stability.
▪ Always set the brakes when the outriggers are in use to prevent the machine accidentally moving.
▪ If using the machine on a sloped surface, ensure that wheel chocks are used (providing it is safe to do so).
▪ Always set up work zone warnings (such as cones and signs) to ensure that others are warned.
The next time you’re using a scissor lift, it is essential that you have followed all of the above steps. This will not only ensure the safety of any workers on the platform and elsewhere on the site, it will ensure the protection of the machine and of any passersby. It is essential that you are aware of the hazards present when using one of these lifts, as this will ensure that you know what to look for should an emergency situation arise.