How to Avoid Scissor Lift Accidents When Training New Employees

Over a one-year period, OSHA found that scissor lift accidents claimed 10 lives and left 20 people seriously injured. Most of the time, these accidents could have been avoided through proper use of the equipment. This is precisely why safety when operating heavy machinery like scissor lifts should be a priority. Injuries and deaths can be prevented with attention to detail and proper training.

When you bring on new hires, we strongly advise employers to give them the right training. Here are a few tips to prevent scissor lift accidents in your workplace.

Consult the Manual

Make sure you go over the manufacturer’s manual with your crew. This may seem like a no-brainer, but it’s a crucial part of training.

Each scissor lift manufacturer has a manual that details how their particular lift should be used. Make sure your team understands it before they use any lift.

Obey Capacity and Height Limits

In regards to fatal scissor lift accidents, 72% of them involve heights. Always obey height limits with your lift and do not overextend it.

Capacity is another factor to keep in mind for scissor lift safety. When reading the capacity limits, keep in mind that it includes not only your worker’s weight but also the combined weight of their tools. Take a moment to calculate this weight carefully.

Inspect the Lift Before Use

When safety is at stake, it’s vital to take a moment to inspect the lift before you use it.

Here’s a basic checklist to keep handy:

  • Check all fluid levels and look for leaks.
  • Make sure the lift has enough power in the battery and charger.
  • Steering and brakes should be in perfect condition.
  • Alarms, horns, and lights need to be in working order.
  • Guardrails should be in place and secure.
  • Check for any missing or loose parts.

Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Another way to prevent scissor lift accidents is to ensure your workspace is a safe place to operate a scissor lift. To do so, check your workspace for the following:

  • Windy weather – A gust can knock your workers down.
  • Stray equipment – You want to keep other equipment away from the scissor lift.
  • Potholes or bumps – You want to make sure the ground beneath the lift is level.
  • Pedestrians and other workers
  • Overhead hazards and low-hanging ceilings
  • Power lines – You want to keep the lift away from electrical lines.

Don’t Change the Lift

You might be tempted to use the lift in ways that it’s not intended to be used. When you cut corners, it might make your job easier for the time being but it also increases the chances of having scissor lift accidents.

Examples include overriding the safety features or adding on scaffolding. These, among other things, are incredibly hazardous. Whatever you need to do, do it safely. Lives are at stake!

Prevent Scissor Lift Accidents With Training

Don’t play games with your or your workers’ lives by cutting corners, neglecting training, or using a DIY scissor lift when you need the real thing. Scissor lift accidents can be fatal, and things can change in the blink of an eye.

Make sure you and your new hires always have the latest manuals and safety tips. And review safety protocols with your workers regularly.

If you have a Lange Lift scissor lift and are not sure if your manual or equipment is up to date, contact us. We can help.