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How to Work with Scissor Lifts 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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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.

  • Stabilization

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 poor weather conditions like high wind.

  • Positioning

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 near working scissor lifts and keep scissor lifts at least ten feet away from live power lines.

Keep Scissor Lifts Maintained

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.

Give All Operators Proper Scissor Lift 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.

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