Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Scissor Lift Safety Checklist - 5 Steps to Scissor Lift Safety

1. Always, and we mean always, wear your safety harness

Scissor lift safety harnessWe can’t believe how many times we see a scissor lift operator not wearing a safety harness. Whether you’re using a 19, 26, 32 or 40 foot scissor, a fall from any of those heights can cause severe injury and even death. Why take the chance when a simple and inexpensive safety harness can offer you the piece of mind of knowing that you're being as safe as possible. 

2. Never use a scissor lift for any task it wasn't intended to

scissor lift accident disastersIf you’re using a scissor lift in a manner it was not intended to be used for – you’re probably risking an accident and injury. Most accidents and injuries are easily preventable by simply using common sense. If it’s a windy day and you’re working around power lines, why take the chance? If you need to move the scissor lift a distance over rough or rocky terrain, why not walk it there instead of moving the unit while aboard the lift? You may think you’re saving time by taking shortcuts but in reality you are risking more down-time and injury by not working intelligently.

3. Never use a scissor lift you deem to be unsafe and unfit for the job at hand

scissor lift inspection
Before attempting to utilize any aerial work platform, whether you own one or you intend to rent a scissor lift, make sure you do a full walk-around inspection prior to each use. Some things you should be checking for are leaks in the hydraulic hoses and fittings, gouges or excessive wear in the tires, poor or loose battery wiring, a properly working control box especially the safety stop button, as well as the various steering and braking components. Never move forward unless you are fully satisfied that you have a good working unit with no safety concerns. You could save yourself from a trip to the E.R.

4. Always familiarize yourself with the operators  and owners manual

Genie scissor lift operators manualRead the operators manual, plain and simple! They put in a central location where it can easily be seen for a reason – it’s extremely important. You'd much rather learn how to operate the scissor lift directly from the manufacturer than from someone on the job-site claiming to be an expert? Make sure to abide by its rules and suggestions, ie. Do not use planks, ladders, scaffolding or any other device on the platform to extend your reach, always keep both feet on the platform floor while working and travelling with the scissor lift, and keep platform, steps and shoes free from oil, mud, grease and other slippery substances, etc. etc.

5. Respect the manufacturer’s specifications

The manufacturer has tested, re-tested and tested again the machine specifications during inititial R&D, during the manufacturing process and then extensively after the lift has left the factory. If they state the maximum number of operators allowed are two then abide by their specifications. If the maximuim platform capacity is 550 lbs, make sure you do not exceed this weight. If the unit was intended to carry 600 lbs, the manufacturer would list the platform capacity as such and not 550lbs.

These are just a few safety tips to keep in mind when operating your scissor lift at maximum safety levels. Slow and steady wins the race every time. Don't let the desire to finish up your job ahead of schedule cloud your judgement. Your health and ultimately your life are much more important.


  1. What about the REQUIRED training?

    1. Training is suggested but not required to operate a scissor lift or any aerial work platform. For more information on scissor lift training, please read more here: