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How to Use a Scissor Lift Safely [INFOGRAPHIC]

how to use scissor lifts safely Scissor lifts are tall work platforms that can be seen in shopping walls, inside and outside buildings for maintenance work, and even on stage for concerts and shows. Named after the scissor-like base that lifts and lowers the platform, scissor lifts are used for many everyday tasks, but that doesn’t mean they don’t come without their share of dangers. In order to use scissor lifts safely and keep operators and pedestrians safe, follow these essential scissor lift safety tips from the experts at

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How to use scissor lifts safely infographic

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At ALC, we are committed to helping scissor lift operators avoid accidents. Now, we want to teach you about scissor lift safety and how businesses can help their workers safely operate scissor lifts and avoid OSHA penalties.

What You Need to Know About How to Use a Scissor Lift Safely

Scissor lift operators must be properly trained and certified — without exception. It is unsafe for an untrained worker to use a scissor lift, and this employee could put himself or herself and others in danger when using a lift. Also, it is illegal for an untrained employee to use a scissor lift, and it could result in costly fines and violations for their employer.

By completing a scissor lift safety training program, workers will understand what it takes to correctly operate a lift. These workers will also know what to do to minimize the risk of scissor lift accidents.

Scissor Lift Safety Tips

To use a scissor lift safely, an operator must:

– Evaluate the Environment. Ensure a work environment is clear of any obstacles or hazards. The work surface should be stable, so the lift will remain in place as an operator uses it. If the work area is busy, establish traffic controls to keep bystanders away from a scissor lift. Additionally, if weather conditions are poor, workers should avoid operating a scissor lift until it is safe to do so.

– Assess Fall Risks. Scissor lift operators must have the proper equipment to mitigate the risk of falls. The lift should have a guardrail that is undamaged and free of rust. Also, the operator should never stand on or lean against the guardrail when the lift is in use.

– Review Protective Controls. Scissor lift operators should check the lift’s brakes and other safety controls before they start using the machine. If any protective controls are malfunctioning, they must be repaired immediately.

The aforementioned tips are discussed in detail during a scissor lift safety training course. Furthermore, this course offers insights into the key components associated with safe use of a scissor lift.

The Key Components for Using Scissor Lifts Safely

After investigating hundreds of scissor lift accidents, OSHA says that using proper fall protection, with the correct stabilization and positioning techniques is the most effective at preventing scissor lift accidents.

Fall Protection

Unlike aerial lifts, scissor lifts don’t require the use of body harnesses and lanyards if there are adequate guardrails in place.

Employers are responsible for training workers to check the guardrails before beginning work, to only stand on the platform and never on the guardrails, and to keep the work area within easy reach from the lift platform.


With adequate training from employers, operators should always check and make sure the scissor lift is stable and not at risk of tipping over and collapsing. Both workers and employers can ensure scissor lifts are stable and safe to use by following the manufacturer’s instructions for safe movement, never moving the lift with the platform in the raised position, directing traffic and other equipment away from the scissor lift and work area, choosing work locations with firm level surfaces away from holes and drop-offs, and never working in inclement weather conditions like high winds.


Properly positioning a scissor lift helps prevent injuries and fatalities caused by electrocution and being crushed. Employers must train operators to be cautious when moving a scissor lift near a fixed object, operating near a moving vehicle, working underneath electrical power lines, and passing under a fixed object like a door frame or beam. To avoid hazards, employers must use traffic control measures when employees are working near scissor lifts and keep scissor lifts at least 10 ft. away from live power lines.


Keeping a regular maintenance schedule for scissor lifts will keep them safe and functioning for operators. Employers must ensure lifts are tested and inspected before every shift, guardrails are in good condition, and the brakes are functioning properly.

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Give All Operators Proper Scissor Lift Safety Training

Safety practices such as these will help keep hazards away from scissor lifts and their operators. But the right scissor lift training is the most effective way to avoid accidents altogether. The online scissor lift training course from is 100% OSHA-compliant and teaches workers proper fall protection, stabilization and positioning for scissor lifts, as well as how to perform inspections and avoid hazards. In only about one hour from any device with an internet connection, workers can be trained, certified, and prepared to use scissor lifts safely with our Training Kit. To learn more about our scissor lift training program or to sign up for one of our scissor lift safety classes, please contact us online or call us today at (888) 278-8896.

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