What Are the Scissor Lift Safety Requirements You Must Know?

A scissor lift is an aerial work platform generally installed on a mobile platform. This crucial equipment helps provide temporary access to areas at height.  Though useful, the scissor lifts can present a severe hazard to workers.

A leading investigation data reveals that 72% of scissor lift facilities occur in the construction industry. Employers or workers need to ensure the safety of their workers.

According to safety experts, employers can prevent most scissor lift accidents by ensuring workers follow safety measures while operating requirements. To make it easy for you, here are the scissor lift safety requirements in detail.

Equipment Inspection

The scissor lift is a complex piece of machinery.  Hence, safety experts recommend daily inspection of the equipment to prevent hazards.  Before using the lift, the operator needs to inspect the lift closely. Some of the things you can check are:

  • All controls and functions for smoothness, speed, and limit of motion
  • Lifting mechanisms
  • Visual inspection of shafts, locking devices, pins, fasteners, and other critical structural components.
  • All safety and emergency devices

If the operator experiences any problem while operating the lift, he should immediately report it to the supervisor.  Don’t make any attempt to repair the lift.  The faulty lift should not be operated until repaired.

Understanding Controls and Functions

As a part of a safety measure, the employer needs to impart proper training to the lift operator.  The operator needs to understand the working mechanism and critical parts of scissor lifts.  The scissor lift comes in a variety of shapes, sizes, and models. Some of the essential things to focus on are

  • Platform– it comes in a variety of densities, shapes, and sizes. Platforms without rails can transport materials, while a lift with rails is used to transport people.
  • Cylinders – they are a crucial component of the scissor lift. Depending on the type of scissor lift, the cylinder might be filled with hydraulic fluid. In some models, a pneumatic pump is there to fill the compressed air in the cylinder.
  • Valves– the scissor lift has two types of valves- the flow control valve and the down valve. The flow control valve is used to control the platform’s speed of descent. It controls how fast the compressed air or hydraulic fluid leaves the cylinder. The down valve manages the hydraulic fluid and compressed airspeed and allows it to move the original container’s content.

The training should focus on the operation and essential components of the scissor lift.

Maintaining Lift Equipment

Like all heavy equipment, scissor lifts also need periodic maintenance to ensure smooth operation and productivity.  It would help if you had a proper maintenance plan in place that you must follow diligently. The American National Standards Institute has published scissor lift maintenance guidelines that need to be followed.

The ANSI maintenance guidelines outline an employer’s responsibilities regarding the maintenance of the equipment. A professional lift inspection should be performed after every 150 hours of use or 90 days whichever is earlier.  The yearly inspection should not exceed 13 months before the last annual inspection date.

The assessment and maintenance should be performed by technicians trained, certified, and rated to work on the model and make of the lift. Some of the maintenance tasks that need to be carried out are:

  • Check all fluid levels, including checking for leaks
  • Test the brake and steering to ensure they are functioning properly
  • Check charger and battery
  • Check all emergency controls like horns, backup alarms, lights, and gauges.
  • Inspect all cable and wiring
  • Check insulating components
  • Check for any loose or missing parts
  • Check the locking pins and mechanical fasteners.

Besides performing periodical maintenance, you need to maintain a detailed maintenance history to keep up with scissor lift safety requirements. The maintenance history should mention what maintenance and repair work has been done, why, and when.

Adhering to Lift Load Capacities

Every scissor lift comes with maximum lift load capacities.  The lift load capacity refers to the maximum weight the lift can be carried/lifted by the machine. You need to be aware of the lift load capacities of the scissor lift you are operating. In all work scenarios, you should never exceed the lift load capacity of the scissor lift.

Protection Against Falls

Scissor lift operators perform work at heights. It increases the risk of fall hazards. Employers need to ensure the scissor lift has a safety harness, guardrails, and other safety equipment to prevent falls. Besides the scissor lift, operators need to wear personal fall protective equipment when operating the lift.

To sum up, these are some critical scissor lift safety requirements that you must follow in your workplace to keep it safe. Following them can prevent hazards, reduce casualties, and make the workplace safer for everyone.

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