Scissor Lift Safety: Exploring Three Common Hazards


Accidents related to Mobile Elevated Work Platforms (MEWPs) can be entirely preventable with the establishment of a robust safety culture and adherence to safe practices in the workplace. By fostering a mindset of vigilance and being knowledgeable about potential hazards, the occurrence of these safety risks can be substantially reduced. In this article, we will shed light on some common hazards associated with their operation and provide valuable insights on effective measures to mitigate these risks.

Falls From Height

According to the International Powered Access Federation (IPAF), falls from height are the leading cause of severe injury and death when operating MEWPs. Since falls from scissor lifts can lead to severe injuries or even death, it's important to take the risk seriously. To mitigate the risk, it's important to implement these safety precautions on the job site.

  • Ensure that workers understand the safety rules and procedures specific to each job site.
  • Ensure the surroundings are clear of objects, vehicles, or other workers that could potentially strike the lift.
  • Never climb over or lean on the guardrails, as they are designed to protect workers from falls.
  • Keep both feet firmly planted on the floor of the lift during operation.
  • Tie off to the scissor lift itself, using designated anchor points, rather than structures or poles.
  • Maintain open communication with supervisors and report any safety concerns.
  • Replace the use of ladders with scissor lifts, as ladders are known to pose significant safety risks. Hy-Brid Lifts offer the lightest and most mobile equipment on the market. Our PA-1030 is a great alternative solution to ladders.

Following these safety precautions can help reduce workplace injury or death from falls from height when implemented properly. Workers and operators should understand these points and must be properly prepared to take responsibility for themselves and others' safety on the job site. 

Construction Worker That Fell


Electrocution incidents involving scissor lifts pose a grave danger to workers. According to IPAF, incidents involving electrocutions and electric shocks have seen an increase since 2015. Such accidents are often fatal, underscoring the critical need for strict adherence to safety guidelines. To prevent such accidents, the following safety precautions should be taken:

  • De-energize power lines within the work zone to eliminate the risk of electrocution.
  • Do not position the lift between power lines.
  • Maintain a distance of at least ten feet from overhead power lines, for some stronger power lines 10 feet may not be far enough, so make sure you take into consideration the voltage vs distance relationship.
  • Treat all power lines as active and potentially dangerous.
  • Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).

Since electrocutions should be taken seriously, as with all workplace hazards, implementing a no-tolerance policy for carelessness can go a long way in keeping people safe. 

Electrocution Warning


According to IPAF, the overturning of an aerial access platform will likely result in the death of the occupant. Tips or collapses usually happen due to too much slope, overloading the platform, or poor ground conditions. To prevent incidents related to scissor lift tips or collapses, consider the following safety guidelines:

  • Utilize the appropriate safety features based on external conditions, such as wind.
  • Ensure the scissor lift is positioned on level ground.
  • Do not exceed the load capacity specified by the manufacturer. ANSI A92.20 guidelines include load sensing that will stop all functions if the load capacity is exceeded.  All Hy-Brid Lifts are ANSI A92.20 compliant and provide higher platform capacities compared to other scissor lifts on the market.
  • Avoid carrying excessively large objects. Our heavy-duty pipe rack can help carry up to 300 pounds of material.
  • Never drive a scissor lift with the platform raised; it should always be lowered when in motion.
  • Do not operate during severe weather conditions that may affect the stability and safe operation of the scissor lift.
  • Perform regular mechanical inspections using a pre-start checklist to identify and address any potential failures. 

Scissor Lift Tipping Over


Maintaining a strong commitment to safety and implementing preventive measures is essential for minimizing accidents involving scissor lifts. By addressing the risks associated with electrocutions, falls from height, and tips/collapses, workers can ensure their well-being while operating scissor lifts. Remember, aerial lift safety is a collective responsibility, and it is crucial for employers, employees, and all personnel involved in workplace safety to prioritize and adhere to best practices.




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