(Updated July 2020)
Scissor lifts enable users to reach high areas indoors, and they are often used in hospitals, schools, hotels, and other worksites with high ceilings. At industrial worksites, scissor lifts can be used for installing or replacing overhead lighting or HVAC piping. They can also be used for painting, damage repair, and other common maintenance tasks. Warehouse workers may use scissor lifts to check inventory on high shelves as well.
Ultimately, scissor lifts are among the safest aerial lifts, and they are versatile and easy to use. Scissor lifts have a small footprint that makes them ideal for warehouses and other indoor sites with limited storage space. Other reasons why scissors lifts are frequently used include:
Stability: The stable base allows scissor lifts to be used on many types of surfaces.
Size: Scissor lifts are small, and they can be easily maneuvered in narrow aisles and crowded areas.
Fall Protection: Scissor lifts have an enclosed platform that helps prevent falls and provides a handy grip for workers while in the air.
Work Area: Scissor lifts provide more working space than many other aerial lifts, so scissor lift operators can easily handle tools and equipment.
There is a lot to like about scissor lifts, but operators must understand the overhead hazards associated with these lifts. That way, scissor lift operators can manage overhead work hazards and limit the risk that these issues lead to on-the-job accidents and injuries.
A Closer Look at Overhead Work Hazards
Workers falling from the platform is the biggest risk associated with scissor lifts. When used indoors, the next biggest risk associated with scissor lifts involves overhead hazards.
Making accidental contact with an overhead hazard is a leading cause of workplace injuries. Common overhead work hazards include:
– Low ceilings
– Large beams and rafters
– HVAC ducts and piping
– Ceiling fans and air conditioning conduits
– Electrical cable or wiring
– Indoor lighting
– Permanent scaffoldings and railing
– Overhead signage
– Cluttered work areas
Overhead work hazards are problematic, and you must educate your workers about them. In doing so, you can limit the risk of overhead hazard accidents.
Accidents due to overhead hazards tend to occur for three reasons:
1. Using the Wrong Lift
A scissor lift’s maximum lift height should not exceed the height of the ceiling. If the platform is raised too high, the worker could get crushed against the ceiling.
2. Incorrect Setup
Scissor lifts need to be locked into place before raising the platform and while working at height. If the lift moves while the platform is in the air, workers can accidentally contact overhead hazards.
3. Inattentive Operator
Indoor jobs often require working close to overhead hazards. When workers are not focused on the task at hand, they are increasingly susceptible to accidents caused by overhead work hazards.
Overhead hazards in construction and other industries put scissor lift operators and bystanders in danger. But, with comprehensive scissor lift safety training, workers can identify and mitigate risks before they escalate. Workers can also determine which scissor lift is the best option for any worksite, at any time.
Want to Eliminate Overhead Hazards in Construction and Other Industries? Choose the Right Scissor Lift
The first step in scissor lift safety is choosing the right lift for your worksite. Scissor lifts come in many sizes and types. Some are smaller and easier to move around. Others are designed to lift heavier weight. Using the wrong lift for your worksite can reduce productivity and put workers at risk.
Start by assessing the worksite conditions. Then, identify any risks associated with the job, such as the kind of work to be performed and where it will take place. Also, consider any equipment that will be used on the platform and any overhead hazards that might get in the way.
Next, determine the tallest height employees need to work. Get a scissor lift that doesn’t go higher than your indoor ceiling. Also, consider the size of the lift. Small entrances and exits can often present problems for larger lifts, and narrow doorways and aisles can do the same.
Choose a lift that you can use to easily get in and around your worksite. If you have limited storage space, consider the dimensions of the lift and find one that you can store safely at all times.
The weight you need to lift is another factor to consider. How much weight will your scissor lift need to support? Does the work require more than one person on the lift? Do you often use heavy equipment on the platform? These are all questions to consider as you determine which scissor lift to use.
Consider your indoor surface as well. What type of floor is in place? Can it safely support a heavy weight? Self-propelled scissor lifts tend to weigh more than other types of aerial lifts, and they can crack tiles and cause floors to collapse. Other types of scissor lifts are better suited for working on sensitive flooring.
Don’t overlook how the scissor lift is powered, either. Scissor lifts that run on liquid fuels can release emissions that are not safe indoors. Lifts that run on batteries offer a better choice because they don’t release fumes.
As you evaluate scissor lifts, review your options closely. There is no need to rush to purchase a scissor lift; instead, consider worker safety to ensure you can select a scissor lift that allows employees to properly complete everyday tasks without putting themselves or others in danger.
Scissor Lift Safety Tips to Address OSHA Overhead Hazards
Once you have the right scissor lift for the job, there are many things you can do to maintain safety, such as:
– Inspect the lift before you use it
– Ensure all platform workers wear a safety harness.
– Don’t move the lift when the platform is raised.
– Be cautious when raising the lift near overhead obstructions.
Perhaps most important, all scissor lift operators must be fully trained and certified. This ensures that scissor lift operators understand exactly what they need to do to protect themselves and others against OSHA overhead hazards and other on-the-job dangers.
Enroll in Scissor Lift Safety Training from CertifyMeOnline.net
Scissor lift safety training is readily available, and it makes it simple for workers to learn the skills they need to correctly operate a scissor lift. In fact, CertifyMeOnline.net provides fast, affordable training that helps keep your workers safe from overhead hazards and other scissor lift risks.
We are happy to provide you with additional information about our scissor lift safety training program. To learn more or to sign up for scissor lift safety training, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.