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OSHA Scissor Lift Safety Regulations

OSHA Scissor Lift Safety Regulations

OSHA Scissor Lift Operator Safety Regulations

Although they may not be as tall or as impressive looking as other aerial lifts such as boom lifts or cherry pickers, scissor lift accidents happen all too often. If you’re wondering just how safe scissor lifts are, according to OSHA, there were 10 deaths and more than 20 serious accidents involving scissor lifts during a recent one-year investigative period. Most of these accidents were preventable and resulted from lack of workplace training in lift stabilization, positioning, and fall protection.  Scissor lifts, can, however, can be safe to use with OSHA approved scissor lift certification and training. Without properly trained operators, scissor lifts can be responsible for some devastating results.

OSHA takes scissor lift regulations, very seriously, and so should you. Examples include certain safety considerations that are required for the use of aerial work platforms (AWPs) and scissor lifts while erecting or dismantling scaffolding. These can be found in OSHA’s scissor lift safety regulations under 29 CFR 1926.451.

Aerial Lift Certification (ALC) is the leader in OSHA approved online scissor lift operator safety training. We offer three affordable, effective and OSHA-complaint training courses for all aspects of scissor lift operation. In addition, we also provide online safety training for all other types of aerial lifts). Here, we’ll take a look at some general safety tips, OSHA scissor lift regulations & standards, and other topics related to using scissor lifts in the workplace.

Basics of Scissor Lift Safety

As mentioned above, OSHA’s one year study found that the majority of the scissor lift-related accidents were the result of employers not adequately addressing fall protection, stabilization, and positioning issues with their workers. Before we get into the basics of scissor lift fall protection, stabilization, and positioning, however, we need to address the number one OSHA scissor lift safety requirement, which is that only properly trained and certified workers be allowed to operate scissor lifts and other AWPs. Employers need to be sure that their employees are able to safely use a scissor lift, which requires OSHA approved training and certification. Scissor lift safety training needs to include teaching operators how to properly maintain the equipment, understand and follow the manufacturer’s instructions and the correct way to use personal protective equipment. Training  must also make sure operators fully understand OSHA’s scissor lift regulations, including the following:

Fall Protection

OSHA requires all scissor lifts to have guardrails in place to prevent workers from falling off a raised platform. Employees need to be adequately trained in how to ensure that an adequate guardrail system is correctly positioned and secured before operating a scissor lift. Operators also need to be taught to stand only on the platform and never on the guardrail. Finally, scissor lift operators need to be aware of the importance of keeping the platform within easy reach of the work in order to avoid the risk of leaning over the guardrail and falling off.

Lift Stabilization

Employers are responsible for ensuring that all scissor lifts within the workplace are stable and aren’t at risk of collapsing or tipping over. Both employers and workers need to also follow these OSHA scissor lift safety measures to make sure the lift is stable:

  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safely moving the lift
  • Keep the scissor lift away from moving traffic
  • Keep lifts away from objects that might accidentally come into contact with the lift, both overhead and on the ground
  • Always position the scissor lift on firm, level ground or foundation
  • Avoid potential hazards such as holes or trenches
  • Use scissor lifts only in good weather
  • Be sure a copy of the manufacturer’s instructions is always on board

To prevent a scissor lift from collapsing, workers and employers need to ensure that all safety systems are in good working order and condition. Operators must also take extra care to keep the scissor lift from colliding with another moving object. It’s also extremely important that the combined weight of workers and equipment on the platform never exceed the manufacturer’s load rating.

Lift Positioning

Employers and workers need to always make sure the scissor lift is properly positioned to keep it from falling or tipping and crushing workers, observers, and passersby. Care also needs to be taken to keep the scissor lift away from hazards such as power lines to avoid the risk of electrocution. There’s always a tipping and crushing risk whenever a moving scissor lift is near a fixed object, moving vehicle, and other equipment that’s operating nearby, or when a lift passes under an overhead object such as a door frame or support beam.

The following job site practices need to be implemented and followed to ensure proper lift positioning and to comply with OSHA’s scissor lift safety regulations:

  • Implement traffic control measures on and around the jobsite
  • Use highly visible ground guides throughout the work area
  • Choose work locations that are a minimum of 10 feet away from electrical power sources
  • Always assume all power lines are live
  • Ensure that operators are adequately trained and qualified to work near sources of electricity

OSHA Scissor Lift Harness Requirements

In the world of proper equipment handling, using harnesses as protection against falls from scissor lifts continues to be a hotly debated topic. Some say harnesses aren’t needed on scissor lifts, while others believe they should always be used.

OSHA scissor lift regulations (29 CFR 1926.451(g) and 29 CFR 1910.29(b), require a scissor lift to be equipped with “adequate” guardrails in place for all types of operations and job conditions, including indoor and outdoor construction jobs, water tower repairs, shipyard work and similar situations. The regulations state that workers must never stand on, lean against or use a scissor lift’s guardrails for stabilization, all of which present serious safety hazards.

If adequate guardrails as required by OSHA aren’t available or feasible, fall protection harnesses should be securely fastened to workers when the scissor lift is 10 feet or more above either the ground or the next-lowest platform. OSHA tie-off requirements state that each employee working on a scissor lift platform needs to secure a lanyard to his or her safety harness. The harness must be anchored to an attachment point on the lift to ensure that it will hold the worker in the event of an accidental fall.

Need Help Understanding OSHA Scissor Lift Regulations? Call ALC Today!

Aerial Lift Certification is the only online training program that has the experience, resources and OSHA expertise  to provide scissor lift training and certification programs that are fast, convenient and affordable. All ALC coursework has been created by industry professionals with years of OSHA experience and knowledge. 

When you or your employees enroll in our online OSHA approved aerial lift certification test, you’ll gain crucial insight into the most important concepts that will allow you and your workers to safely and efficiently operate scissor lifts under virtually any working conditions.

We offer three training class programs, which are the Training Kit, Train A Trainer and our money-saving Bundle Package.  Each class is a customized learning experience, which you can complete at your own pace and convenience. With our guaranteed 100% pass rate, you can become an OSHA certified scissor lift operator in a lot less time than you think  – even in as little as little as one hour!

Once you receive your OSHA scissor lift operator certification, you’ll open a whole new door to career possibilities. At the same time, your job profile will immediately be more attractive to potential employers. ALC also has everything that’s needed for business owners that want to ensure that their workplace is safe and that they’re in compliance with OSHA regulations.

There’s no longer a need to worry about OSHA audits or having a workforce that has aerial lift operators who aren’t trained to OSHA’s scissor lift safety regulations. To get started, contact us online or call us at 888.278.8896 today – you’ll be glad you did!

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