Scissor lifts are used in various industries like manufacturing, entertainment, construction, and retail. These work platforms are used to transport and move workers virtually. These lifts have crossed beams that operate in a scissor-like fashion. They can move straight up and down.
However, these lifts also present hazards when stationary or extended. Here are some safe practices that you need to employ while operating scissor lifts at your facility.
Follow Right Operating Procedures
As a part of scissor lift safety procedures, you need to choose the right equipment for the task. The next step is identifying potential hazards in your facility. Employees who will be using the scissor lifts need to learn and implement adequate controls for stabilization, positioning, and fall protection.
Only trained employees should operate scissor lifts. Employers need to check and ensure these employees can safely use scissor lifts and follow the right operating procedures. Some critical safety measures employers need to follow are:
- Perform regular maintenance
- Follow equipment manufacturer instructions
- Provide adequate training to workers
- Provide personal protective equipment
- Implement safe work practices
Other vital factors in the safe operation of scissor lifts are its positioning, maintenance, fall protection, and stabilization.
As a safety procedure, you need to position your scissor lift in the right way. It is necessary to avoid electrocution or crushing hazards. It is not only the people who are working on the scissor lifts that face risks. Other people working or operating equipment nearby also face a crushing danger. Here are some safety tips workers need to follow.
- Workers need to be watchful when a scissor lift is moving under a door beam or support beam
- Extra precaution needs to be taken when a scissor lift or moving vehicle is operating closely
There is a risk of electrocution when lifts are positioned near energized lines. Here are the safety measures you need to take at the facility.
- Make sure the scissor lift is located at least 10 feet away. Also, make sure there is no overhead hazard risk due to branches or overhangs.
- Ensure that the employees at the work location are qualified and have received proper electrical training.
The scissor lift should have guard rails installed, which are part of the fall protection system. Employers should also provide training to employees regarding the following aspects:
- To check if the guardrails are in place before starting work on the scissor lift
- To always stand on the work platform and never stand on the guardrails
- To position the scissor life so that work is within easy reach and workers don’t have to lean far away from scissor lift
Before operating the lifts, the workers need to ensure the lift is stable and does not collapse or tip over to ensure scissor lift safety. Here are some work procedures to follow to ensure steady working conditions on the lift.
- You need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions while moving the lift. According to experts, you should avoid moving the lift in an elevated position, which increases the chances of tip over.
- Implement traffic control when working on scissors lifts to ensure no other vehicle or moving object comes near the lift.
- Choose work locations with firm and level surfaces. You should avoid surfaces like bumps, slopes, debris, ground instructions, or drop-offs.
- Use scissor lifts only when weather conditions are right.
Here are some preventive measures employers need to take to prevent collapse:
- Ascertain the systems built for preventing collapse are not bypassed and are well
- Make sure the maximum load rating specified by the manufacturer is not exceeded in any circumstances.
- Only use the scissor lift mechanism to raise the platform.
- Protect and prevent the scissor lift from being struck by any moving equipment on the worksite.
Regular maintenance is an essential factor in the safety of scissor lifts. It plays a vital role in preventing the lift mechanism from collapsing. The maintenance routine generally includes:
- Inspecting and testing controls before each use
- Making sure the guardrails are working properly
- Ensuring the brakes hold the scissor lift in position
It is an integral part of the scissor lift’s safe operation. The training program should include the following things.
- Ensure the workers are aware of manufacturer’s instruction while operating the lift vertically and while in transit
- Workers are aware of the weight limits and know how to handle the material in a scissor lift
- Report any maintenance needs or defects in the equipment
The scissor lift is a useful and essential equipment that allows employees to work safely on heights. Following these safety measures will ensure that employees can operate them safely and efficiently.