How to safely use scissor lifts at the worksite

As with many types of equipment, scissor lifts can prove to be invaluable at some Pennsylvania workplaces, as long as they are used correctly. However, when not properly utilized, scissor lifts can also cause serious injuries. There are some ways that employers and their employees can deal with this type of industrial device.

Any employee who uses a scissor lift must be adequately trained prior to using the equipment. It is also the duty of those in charge to ensure the lifts are in good working order, and that employees using them are wearing proper protective gear. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, scissor lift hazards are associated with employers who fail to adequately address fall protection, stabilization and positioning. Supervisors are obligated to make sure the scissor lifts have guardrails to prevent falls. Employees should should never stand on the guardrails or lean over while working.

Employers should ensure supervisors closely adhere to the manufacturer's instructions when moving scissor lifts. Those working with a scissor lift should never move it while it is fully extended because it could easily fall over or collapse, nor should the lifts be used on days when winds reach speeds of more than 28 mph. Lifts should not be used near drop-offs or other unstable surfaces but only where the ground is level and solid. When one is used near moving vehicles or electrical wire lines, workers should be especially vigilant.

Workers injured while using a scissor lift may want to contact an attorney for legal direction regarding their situation. They may be eligible to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits under their employer's coverage.

Source: OSHA, "Working Safely with Scissor Lifts", Feb. 16, 2016

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