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OSHA Scissor Lift Safety Regulations

Even though they may not be as tall and impressive looking as aerial lifts like cherry pickers, scissor lift accidents do happen. If you’re wondering, how safe are scissor lifts, know that they can be safe to use. However, without properly trained operators, scissor lifts can be responsible for some devastating results: Over a one-year investigation period, OSHA found 10 deaths and 20 serious injuries involving scissor lifts.

OSHA takes scissor lift safety seriously – and so should you. According to OSHA regulations for scissor lifts 29 CFR 1926.451, there are certain safety considerations required for the use of scaffolding, which includes aerial lifts and scissor lifts.

Aerial Lift Certification (ALC), the leader in online-based OSHA scissor lift safety training, offers a trio of affordable, effective, OSHA-complaint training courses for all facets of scissor lift operation (we also specialize in aerial lift training). Let’s look at some general safety tips, OSHA regulations & standards, and other topics related to working with scissor lifts.

OSHA Scissor Lift Safety Regulations

Scissor Lift Safety Basics

During the one-year study mentioned above, OSHA found that most of the accidents were the result of employers not addressing fall protection, stabilization, and positioning with their workers.

However, before we go into the basics of fall protection, stabilization and positioning for scissor lifts, we need to address the number one OSHA scissor lift safety requirement: Only trained workers must be allowed to operate scissor lifts, and employers should make sure that employees show that they can use a scissor lift safely through training. Scissor lift safety training should cover how to properly maintain the equipment, how to follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and how to use personal protective equipment. It should also teach the following OSHA regulations for scissor lifts:

Fall Protection

All scissor lifts must have guardrails in place to prevent workers from falling off the platform. Workers should be trained to ensure that an adequate guardrail system is in place before using a scissor lift, only stand on the platform and never on the guardrail, and to keep work within easy reach of the platform to prevent having to lean far away.


Employers must ensure that each scissor lift is stable and not at risk of tipping over or collapsing. Employers and workers should also follow these OSHA scissor lift safety steps to ensure a stable scissor lift: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe movement, isolate the lift from moving traffic, keep scissor lifts away from objects that can come into contact, select worksites that are firm and level away from hazards like holes, and to use scissor lifts only in nice weather.

 To prevent collapses, workers and employers should also ensure scissor lift safety systems are in working order, never allow the weight on the platform to exceed the manufacturer’s load rating, and to keep the scissor lift from being hit by another moving object.


Employers and workers should make sure the scissor lift is positioned to prevent it from crushing workers or risking workers’ risk of electrocution. Crushing hazards are present when a moving scissor lift is near a fixed object, a moving vehicle or other equipment is near an operating scissor lift, and when a scissor lift passes underneath an overhead object like a door frame or support beam.

The following work practices should be implemented to ensure a scissor lift is positioned properly and to meet OSHA scissor lift safety guidelines: Implement traffic control measures, use ground guides around a workplace, choose work locations that are at least 10 feet away from electrical power sources, assume all power lines are live, ensure that workers are qualified to work near electrical sources.

OSHA Scissor Lift Harness Requirements

Fall protection for scissor lifts and the use of harnesses is a hotly debated topic in the equipment handling world. While some say that harnesses are never needed on scissor lifts, others say that they are.

According to OSHA regulations for scissor lifts Scaffolding eTool (29 CFR 1926.451(g) and 29 CFR 1910.29(b), a scissor lift must be equipped with “adequate” guardrails in place for all types of industries and operations (construction, water tower repair, shipyard work, etc.). Workers must never stand on, lean on, or use the guardrails for any sort of stabilization purposes for optimum scissor lift safety.

If such a guardrail isn’t feasible, a fall protection harness should be fastened to all workers involved with scissor lift activity, if such activity is at least 10 feet above ground level (or at least 10 feet above the next-lowest platform). Scissor lift tie off requirements include workers securing a lanyard attached to the harness to an attachment point on the scissor lift, ensuring that it can adequately catch a worker’s fall.

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

No other online training source provides the resources, assistance, affordable training and OSHA expertise like Aerial Lift Certification. Our coursework was created by professionals with years of OSHA experience and industry know-how.

When you take our online OSHA scissor lift safety test, you’ll gain crucial understanding on the most important safety concepts for safe & efficient scissor lift operation. We offer three training classes – Training Kit, Train a Trainer, and our Bundle Package – so you’ll enjoy a customized learning experience, all at your own pace. With a 100% pass rate, you can become OSHA certified in less time than you think!

Once you receive your OSHA scissor lift regulation, you’ll expand your own career possibilities, all while making your own job profile more attractive to potential employers. For companies looking to establish their own scissor lift safety OSHA inroads, ALC has everything you need. Wonder, how safe are scissor lifts, no more!

To get started today, click here. You can also call our OSHA scissor lift safety experts today by calling 888.278.8896. Thanks for visiting Aerial Lift Certification!

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