How to Prevent Scissor Lift Accidents

Elevating work platforms, such as scissor lifts, help employees to access raised areas where they need to carry out maintenance work, such as painting. However, some employees commit mistakes that result in avoidable accidents during the use of scissor lifts. This article discusses some safety precautions that you should include in the safety manual of your facility so that such avoidable accidents can be prevented.

Always Use Lanyards

Scissor lifts usually have a lanyard that can prevent the equipment from continuing to operate once the operator is incapacitated, such as after a fall. You should stress the importance of wearing that lanyard each time an operator mounts into the scissor lift. You can also institute heavy punitive measures for violators of this requirement so that the jobsite is safe from avoidable scissor lift accidents.

Position the Platform Correctly During Relocation

The key benefit of scissor lifts is that the access equipment is easy to move from one work zone to another. However, this ease of relocation can be potentially dangerous in case the scissor lift is moved when its work platform is extended. This is because the platform may hit an overhead obstruction and topple. You should therefore ensure that your safety manual stipulates that the lift should never be moved when the platform hasn't been lowered to its position on the truck. This measure will prevent the accidents that can occur when the loaded platform becomes unstable as the equipment is relocated.

Care While the Platform is Raised

The platforms on scissor lifts can extend several feet above the ground. However, the base of the platform usually becomes more unstable as the platform is raised higher and higher. Great care must therefore be taken to regulate the rate at which the platform is raised so that it does not make a sudden movement that can make it lose balance. Include a rule that compels operators of rental scissor lifts to raise the platform at the slowest speed possible. The work may take longer but the chances of a fatal accident will be drastically reduced.

It is very important that you write a safety manual that includes the suggestions above before you rent scissor lifts. This is because you may opt to use your own employees to operate that rental equipment. Such employees are more prone to make mistakes because they rarely operate the equipment that you are about to hire. The safety manual therefore helps to remind them to take every step necessary to avoid putting themselves and others at the jobsite in danger as they operate the scissor lift.