Why Scissor Lifts Are a Safe Choice

Why Scissor Lifts Are a Safe Choice

When you’re working on a construction or maintenance project, the job may require you to perform certain tasks up high. In many cases, aerial work is best suited to a scissor lift. This type of lift offers a stable base from which workers can get the job done. Though they do have some limitations, scissor lifts much pose far fewer risks than other aerial work alternatives, such as ladders or scaffolding. Learn why scissor lifts are a safe bet for getting the job done.

Scissor Lift Basics

To recognize why they are a safe choice for work sites, it’s important to understand the basics of how scissor lifts work. These lifts are composed of a wheeled base, lattice-like braces, and a stable work platform. The hydraulic braces extend to lift the platform straight up from the base. The wheels at the bottom allow workers to move the entire structure as needed.

Scissor lifts are used for a wide variety of applications. The platforms can be raised to reach high areas for painting, installations, and other types of renovations. When used outdoors, you may see these lifts on construction sites. Inside, they may be used in hospitals, hotels, schools, and other locations with high ceilings. In warehouses, they may be used for checking inventory on high shelves. Scissor lifts come in many sizes as well, which makes them useful for work where space limitations are a concern.

Advantages of Using Scissor Lifts

Scissor lifts are often the safest option when it comes to completing aerial work. When compared to ladders or scaffolding, scissor lifts offer a safe yet versatile option. The following are some of the key safety benefits of using scissor lifts:

  • Stability: The stable base on a scissor lift makes it perfect for use on a wide variety of surfaces. Because of the wide, heavy base, the lift can remain motionless while in the air, even as workers move on the platform above. The wheels can be locked into place, so the lift stays put on uneven terrain or steep slopes.
  • Solid construction: When compared to scaffolding, scissor lifts obviously offer the mobility needed for getting a job done faster. But beyond that, a scissor lift is a single unit that stays solid and safe. Scaffolding, on the other hand, has to be rebuilt quickly in new places, increasing the risk of instability. Ladders can’t hold as much weight, which makes them poorly suited to jobs that require heavy tools.
  • Caged platform: The work platform on a scissor lift features solid railings around each side. This helps to prevent accidental falls. It also provides a handy grip for workers while they complete work in the air.
  • Space to work: Trying to work on a narrow ladder or shaky scaffolding creates safety risks. With a scissor lift, workers have space to move to get the job done safely and accurately. The platform can be lifted to the exact position needed to provide a comfortable and safe workspace.

Scissor Lift Limitations

While scissors lifts are quite safe, it’s important for construction site managers and workers to be aware of the limitations specific to this type of equipment. The biggest risk with a scissor lift is falling from the work platform. Workers have to be careful about leaning out from the platform to avoid this safety hazard.

Scissor lifts also need to be moved carefully. These lifts are heavy construction equipment, so the operator must take care not to hit any nearby workers or objects. Once the lift is moved, it also needs to be carefully locked in place to avoid movement while workers are on the platform.

Wind and weather conditions are other hazards that apply to any aerial work. Strong gusts, for example, could topple a scissor lift over when it’s extended high into the air.

Scissor Lift Safety Tips

Despite a few limitations, there are ways to minimize safety risks while you use a scissor lift. Follow these steps to avoid potential accidents or injuries:

  • Inspect the lift before every use to ensure that it is in proper working order.
  • Require all workers to be trained before operating the scissor lift.
  • Make sure workers always wear a safety harness while on the work platform.
  • Only move the lift when the platform is collapsed, and the work platform is empty.
  • Avoid using the scissor lift outdoors during inclement weather, especially high winds.

Consider renting a scissor lift for your next project to make aerial tasks easier and safer for your workers.

Scissor Lift Safety Tips

Despite a few limitations, there are ways to minimize safety risks while you use a scissor lift. Follow these steps to avoid potential accidents or injuries:

  • Inspect the lift before every use to ensure that it is in proper working order
  • Require all workers to be trained before operating the scissor lift
  • Make sure workers always wear a safety harness while on the work platform
  • Only move the lift when the platform is collapsed, and the work platform is empty
  • Avoid using the scissor lift outdoors during inclement weather, especially high winds

Consider renting a scissor lift for your next project to make aerial tasks easier and safer for your workers.


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