How to Use a Scissor Lift Safely

How to Use a Scissor Lift Safely
Operating a scissor lift requires carefully following rules for safe use

Scissor lifts provide work platforms for construction and maintenance jobs, and these machines are known for their ease of use. To stay safe on this type of equipment, however, your crew should know common hazards. Find out how to use a scissor lift safely and discover why training is so important.

Require Scissor Lift Training

Like any piece of equipment, a scissor lift requires training prior to use. Always keep track of training records to confirm which team members can use a scissor lift safely. Never let untrained workers use a scissor lift.

Before you plan to use a scissor lift on any job site, take the time to schedule training for your crew. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards suggest that training sessions include several parts. First, make sure your crew members read the equipment manual to learn the controls for the model you rent. Next, train them to handle materials safely while in transit or moving vertically. Your crew should also know the machine’s weight limits to stay safe.

Inspect the Lift Before Use

No matter what type of job your crew is doing, every work day should begin with an equipment inspection. Assign your crew to inspect scissor lifts at the start of the workday, and make sure they know how to do a complete lift check.

Have crew members check the equipment manual for instructions first. Most scissor lift manuals show you which controls to test and which parts to inspect. For example, your crew should check the brakes to make sure they work properly. Your team should also make sure the guardrails work safely.

Know How to Stabilize the Scissor Lift

Most scissor lifts have large footprints that help them stay stable. However, you should teach your crew members how to stabilize a scissor lift to prevent accidents from happening.

To prevent tipping, your team should strive to work on level terrain. Instruct your crew to avoid working on steep inclines, rough terrain, or loose ground. To prevent collisions, your crew should know how to move a scissor lift safely. In most cases, your team should avoid moving the machine when it’s elevated.

To prevent collapses, your team should pay attention to wind speed and outdoor conditions. Instruct your crew to avoid extending the machine vertically when wind speeds exceed 28 miles per hour.

Protect Your Crew From Falls

One of the biggest perks of a scissor lift is its ability to reach heights up to 40 feet. However, this vertical function can also create hazards. Naturally, falls from extreme heights can lead to serious injury.

To protect your crew from falls, make sure they always use the lift’s guardrail. This feature surrounds the work platform and prevents workers from going over the edge. Safety harnesses should also be worn whenever personnel is on the platform.

Your crew members should also take care to stand on the work platform only. They should never stand or place equipment on the guardrails. For added safety, encourage workers not to reach over the guardrails. Instruct them to move the machine to reach work areas or materials safely.

Stay Aware of Surroundings

Your job site can have a big impact on how you use a scissor lift safely. Even if your crew knows how to operate a lift, make sure they’re familiar with potential site hazards.

Make sure your crew knows the location of electrical wires and how to avoid contacting them. Your team should know how to move and extend the lift without bumping into wires or risking electrocution.

Since collisions and crushing can cause damage and injury, show your team how to avoid obstructions. Make sure they know how to operate the machine safely to avoid hitting equipment or structures.

Schedule Routine Maintenance

All machines need regular tune-ups to run safely and efficiently. Scissor lifts are no different. Ask your Big Rentz rental agent or check the manual to confirm when your scissor lift needs a tuneup. Schedule maintenance in advance, so you can plan for downtime if necessary.

Call for repairs or tune-ups right away if your team spots a maintenance issue during a pre-shift inspection. Never allow your team to operate a scissor lift without addressing any defects or repair needs.

No matter the size of the job, scissor lifts are up to the task. Now that you know how safe these machines can be, don’t wait to rent the right model for your next job. Contact Big Rentz at (888) 325-5172 to rent a scissor lift and learn more about essential training today.


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