Take These Precautions When Working with Scissor Lifts

Scissor lifts are convenient equipment for lifting heavy loads or workers to raised heights. They are ideal for such jobs as painting ceilings, changing light bulbs, repairing gutters, or removing materials from upper shelves.

But hydraulic scissor lifts can also be dangerous. If used improperly or carelessly, they can easily cause injury or even death. Besides the falling hazard, there is also the high risk of getting hands, feet, or other body parts pinched between the scissor bars.

Here are some ways you can enhance safety and reduce risks when using scissor lifts in your workplace.

Keep Other People Away

The moving parts on scissor lifts are hazardous. So keeping unauthorized people away from the machinery while it is in operation is critical.

Whenever possible, rope off the area where you will be using the scissor lift with yellow caution tape, red danger tape, or at least workplace stanchions. Not only is there the risk of getting pinched, but there is also the danger of items accidentally being dropped on the people below.

Watch Where You Are Going

Scissor lifts can also move. So it’s important to check for obstacles around the platform that could obstruct its path of travel. These include holes, drop offs, debris, ditches, and soft fill.

But don’t just look down, look up as well. Overhead clearances need to be high enough for the platform to travel under. Otherwise, they could tip the scissor lift over onto workers below.

Power Up

One of the most common mistakes with scissor lifts is forgetting to charge the battery. If your lift runs out of power while workers are on the extended platform, it can be a genuine hazard.

Make sure the batteries are fully charged before taking the scissor lift out on a job. Don’t forget to disconnect the battery-charging system from its external power source.

Keeping It Level

It’s critical that standard scissor lifts not be raised while the vehicle is parked on a slope. You also want to avoid driving onto a slope when the platform is elevated.

While there are specialized scissor lifts that are designed to accommodate working on uneven surfaces, standard lifts can tip over even on the most gradual incline or decline.

Employ Safety Equipment

Most scissor lifts come with protective equipment built into the vehicle, including chains, ropes or guardrails on the work platform. These should not be removed even when they make it inconvenient to reach something. These protective barriers may save your life someday.

A scissor lift can make higher jobs easier. But it’s vitally important that they are used with caution and care at all times.

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