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7 Key Scissor Lift Safety Tips

There is simply no denying the fact that scissor lifts are invaluable additions to all manner of construction types and jobs and can boost speed, cost-effectiveness and indeed safety when it comes to working at height.

There are a wide range of models with different features and specifications to suit distinct work environments and mitigate against hazards and safety risks and yet without the necessary training and precautions there can be a risk of personal injury to those working on and around the equipment.

The following specific tips will help you to avoid these risks, but first it is vital to make sure you hire equipment that is suitable and well maintained and that you are adequately insured.

1. Do not lean against the guardrails. The guardrails are a safety precaution and are not designed to be weight bearing. To avoid this, manoeuvre the scissor lift close enough to the designated workspace to avoid having to over-reach.

2. Do move the scissor lift around as necessary and the platform of the lift, but ensure that you do NOT move it while the platform is extended. A good rule of thumb when moving most heavy machinery is to return it to its default state before moving it from place to place. Caution is always rewarded. With an extended platform, moving the scissor lift would be hazardous because it would be unstable and unwieldy, increasing the likelihood of an accident. The platform should always be lowered first.

3. Follow the safety guidelines and use trained personnel. Firstly, it is imperative that all operators and inspectors are suitably trained. The IPAF training category for scissor lifts is Mobile Vertical (3a, 3a+). This level of training will help ensure that the equipment is properly checked, situated, inspected and operated. It is vital that standard safety guidelines are adhered to when operating scissor lifts.

4. Make the work environment as safe as possible. While there are 4 x 4 scissor lifts available, for most work environments this would be overkill and the risks can instead be minimized by ensuring there is a clear path for the equipment and it is operated on stable ground.

5. If used for raised platform work, do not overload the scissor lift. As with any other type of equipment, scissor lifts have a limit. The weight loaded onto the platform to be lifted is a primary safety concern as the base becomes more unstable as it is raised and is susceptible to environmental factors such as wind. So it stands to reason not to overload the weight on the platform as it could increase instability and also increase the severity of a potential accident.

6. Check the wind. This follows nicely on from the previous tip. Most scissor lifts have a wind rating of 12.5 m/s or less and as such should never be operated in very high winds.

7. Use lanyards safely. Lanyards are a valuable piece of personal safety equipment, but workers must ensure not to allow their lanyards to cross over with their colleagues’ lanyard as the safety features of the lanyards will then become compromised.


Sandtek Door Services, Unit 11, Aldham Industrial Estate, Mitchell Road, Wombwell, Barnsley, S73 8HA
www.sandtekdoors.co.uk      copyright © 2012      Lojix

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