A scissor lift is an incredibly useful mechanism that’s used to elevate both loads and people to heights that would be otherwise unsafe to access. Whilst accidents caused by scissor lifts are very rare, it’s important to ensure that you’re always using them safely and correctly in order to maintain a safe workspace. These are our top tips for staying safe when using a scissor lift:
Do Not Move The Lift When It’s Elevated
Moving a scissor lift whilst its platform is elevated is a very dangerous move. The weight distribution of the equipment or uneven ground could easily cause the mechanism to topple over when moved. In addition to this, there’s the risk that the platform could hit something overhead causing damage or forcing the lift to topple over. With this in mind, it’s crucial to avoid moving the scissor lift when its platform is elevated, and to always scope the area before you do move it, in order to make sure that there are no obstructions.
Consider The Weather
Another crucial safety consideration to make when operating a scissor lift is the weather. The biggest weather risk is wind. Strong winds can cause the lift to become unbalanced and potentially fall over. Before using a scissor lift it’s essential to check what the manufacturer specifies that the maximum wind strength is for safe operation. Rain and frost can also make the platform slippery to stand on which presents a hazard to those who are working at height.
Never Use Other Equipment To Create Height
If you cannot raise the platform to the height that you require, it’s essential not to use other equipment to create extra height, such as using a ladder on the platform. Not only is this incredibly dangerous for the risk of falling that it presents, it can also impact the weight distribution, which could cause the lift itself to topple over and cause an accident.
Always Work On Firm, Level Surfaces
Deciding where to position the scissor lift plays a crucial role in maintaining safety standards. The ground should be solid and flat to prevent instability. It also needs to be placed at a good distance from electrical wiring and away from moving vehicles. The area in which the scissor lift is being operated should be sectioned off using barriers and signage to ensure that vehicle traffic doesn’t pose a danger.
Do Not Overload The Platform
You should never load the platform above the maximum weight that’s been specified by the manufacturer. Overloading the platform can cause the whole mechanism to become unstable, and this will become more of a risk the higher that the platform is elevated. Staying within the loading limits is essential for protecting workers, but also for preventing the machinery itself from becoming damaged.
Do Not Misuse The Guardrails
Guardrails help to prevent operators from falling whilst providing a rail for them to hold as the lift is being elevated. Sometimes people are tempted to use the guardrails as steps to gain extra height or to attach additional objects. Both of these actions are incredibly dangerous and are essential to avoid at all times.
Only Allow Trained Workers To Operate The Lift
It might seem like an obvious point, however it’s really important to emphasise the importance of only letting properly trained workers operate the scissor lift. It’s crucial that workers are properly trained in moving and operating the scissor lift in order to prevent accidents from occurring.
Maintain Regular Safety Checks
The importance of maintaining regular safety checks and servicing of the equipment cannot be stressed enough. Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring that the scissor lift continues to run at the standard required, and to check for any failures or damage that could be a potential danger.
Choose A Reliable Supplier
Choosing your scissor lift from a trusted supplier is essential for ensuring that you make a reliable and safe choice. At Euro Lifts we’ve been supplying lifts throughout the South West for more than 30 years. We specialise in both single and multi scissor lifts, providing the load capacity, lifting height and platform size to suit your specific application. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the team to discuss the best options available.