Although they may not be as tall or as impressive looking as other larger types of aerial lifts such as boom lifts or cherry pickers, accidents involving scissor lifts happen all too often. Just how safe are scissor lifts? According to OSHA records, scissor lifts were involved in 10 deaths and more than 20 serious accidents during a recent twelve-month period. Most of these accidents could have been prevented, and were the result of a lack of proper workplace training in lift stabilization, lift positioning, and fall protection. With proper OSHA approved scissor lift training and certification, however, scissor lifts can be safe to use. The result of allowing untrained workers to operate scissor lifts in the workplace can be devastating.
OSHA takes scissor lift regulations very seriously, and as a business owner and employer, you should as well. A good example of why are safety considerations required when aerial work platforms (AWPs) and scissor lifts are used while erecting or dismantling scaffolding. These requirements can be found in OSHA’s scissor lift safety regulations under Section 29 CFR 1926.451.
AerialLiftCertification.com (ALC) is the leader in OSHA approved online scissor lift operator safety training. We offer three affordable, effective and 100% OSHA-complaint training courses that cover all aspects of operating scissor lifts in the workplace. In addition, we also provide online safety training for all other types of aerial lifts and aerial work platforms (AWPs). In this article, we’ll take a look at some of OSHA’s general safety tips, scissor lift regulations & operating standards and other topics related to the proper use of scissor lifts.
The one year study by OSHA mentioned above found that the majority of accidents involving the use of scissor lifts were the result of employers failing to adequately address fall protection, stabilization, and positioning issues with their workers. Although scissor lift fall protection, stabilization, and positioning are important issues, OSHA’s number one scissor lift safety requirement is that only properly trained and certified workers be allowed to operate scissor lifts and other AWPs.
It’s the employer’s responsibility to ensure that each of their operators is able to safely use a scissor lift, which requires OSHA approved training and certification such as offered by ALC. Scissor lift operator safety training also needs to include teaching employees how to properly maintain the equipment, understanding and following the manufacturer’s instructions. In addition, the training needs to include how to correctly use personal protective equipment (PPE) while operating scissor lifts. OSHA scissor lift training needs to ensure that operators fully understand OSHA’s scissor lift regulations, including the following items:
— Fall Protection. OSHA regulations require all scissor lifts to have guardrails in place to prevent injuries to workers caused by falls from a raised platform. Workers need to be adequately trained in how to correctly position and secure the guardrail system before operating a scissor lift. Operators also need to understand the importance of standing only on the platform and never on the guardrail. Finally, scissor lift operators need to be aware of the importance of always keeping the platform within easy reach of the work area to avoid the risk of sustaining injuries from leaning over the guardrail and falling off.
— Lift Stabilization. It’s the employers’ responsibility to ensure that all scissor lifts used in the workplace are stable and aren’t in danger of collapsing or tipping over. Both employers and their workers need to follow these OSHA scissor lift safety measures to make sure the lift is stable at all times:
• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safely moving and repositioning the lift
• Always keep the scissor lift away from moving traffic
• Keep scissor lifts well away from overhead and on the ground obstacles that could accidentally come into contact with the lift
• Always position scissor lifts on firm, level ground or flooring
• Avoid potential hazards such as holes or trenches that could cause the lift to tip
• Operate scissor lifts only in good weather
• Be sure a copy of the lift manufacturer’s instructions are on board at all times
To prevent a scissor lift from collapsing or tipping, both employers and their workers need to ensure that safety systems are in good working order and condition at all times. Scissor lift operators need to also take extra care to keep the scissor lift from colliding with other moving objects, as well as overhead and ground level obstacles. It’s also extremely important that the combined weight of workers, tools and equipment on the lift platform never exceed the manufacturer’s load rating.
It’s extremely important that both employers and their workers always properly position their scissor lifts to prevent them from falling or tipping and injuring coworkers, observers and passersby below. Extreme care also needs to be taken to keep scissor lifts well away from hazards such as power lines to avoid risking electrocution. Whenever a scissor lift is operated near a fixed object, moving vehicle or other equipment that’s being operated nearby, there’s always a risk of injury from a tipping or crushing accident. This is also the case when a scissor lift passes under an overhead obstacle such as a door frame or an overhead support beam.
The following job site practices and procedures need to be implemented and observed to ensure lifts are always properly positioned, as well as to comply with OSHA’s scissor lift safety regulations:
• Establish traffic control measures on and around the job site
• Position highly visible ground control guides throughout the work area
• Be sure work locations are a minimum of 10 feet away from electrical lines or power sources
• Ensure lift operators have been adequately trained and qualified to operate their equipment near sources of electricity
• Always assume all power lines are live
Using harnesses on scissor lifts as a means of protecting against injuries or fatalities from falls continues to be a hotly debated topic within the industry. Some people feel harnesses don’t need to be worn while working from scissor lifts, while others believe safety harnesses should always be used.
OSHA tie-off requirements state that all employees working from a scissor lift platform need to secure a lanyard to his or her safety harness. The safety harness needs to be securely anchored to an attachment point on the lift to ensure that it will hold the worker in the event of an accidental fall.
OSHA scissor lift regulations 29 CFR 1926.451(g) and 29 CFR 1910.29(b) require scissor lifts to always have adequate guardrails in place under all jobsite conditions and for all types of operations, including indoor and outdoor construction, water tower repairs, shipyard work and similar situations. The regulations prohibit workers from standing on, leaning against or using a scissor lift’s guardrails for stabilization, all of which are both dangerous and serious safety violations. Whenever adequate guardrails required by OSHA aren’t available, fall protection harnesses should be securely fastened to workers when the scissor lift is more than10 feet above either the ground or a platform immediately below.
AerialLiftCertification.com is the only online training program available that has the training experience, resources and OSHA expertise to provide scissor lift training and certification programs that are fast, convenient and affordable. All ALC course materials have been created by industry professionals with years of experience working with OSHA and a thorough knowledge of OSHA’s regulations. When you enroll your employees in ALC’s OSHA approved online aerial lift certification program, you’ll both gain crucial insight into safely and efficiently operating scissor lifts under virtually any indoor and outdoor working conditions.
ALC offers three aerial lift and scissor lift training programs. The Training Kit will train and certify all your operators for one low price. Our Train a Trainer Class lets you designate one or more employees as an in-house trainer who can certify future aerial lift operators as they’re hired. Our Bundle and Save Package includes both programs at the discounted price of just $399.
Our aerial lift and scissor lift classes are customized training programs that employees can complete while working at their own pace. Becoming certified takes a lot less time than you might think to become an OSHA compliant operator. Some students complete the training in as little as an hour. Since all training materials are available online 24/7, ALC’s aerial and scissor lift training can be completed any time that’s convenient and any place there’s an Internet connection. What’s more, we guarantee a 100% pass rate!
After you complete ALC’s OSHA-approved training and receive your scissor lift operator certification, a whole new world of career opportunities will open up to you. If you’re an employee, your scissor lift operator certification will also make your job profile more attractive to potential employers. If you’re an employer, ALC has everything that’s needed to ensure that your workplace is safe and you’re in compliance with the latest OSHA regulations.
When your scissor lift operators receive their certification through ALC, there’s no longer a need to worry about OSHA audits or having aerial lift operators who aren’t trained to OSHA’s scissor lift safety standards. To get started today, contact us online or call us at 888-278-8896 today – you’ll be glad you did!