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OSHA Scissor Lift Safety

Scissor lifts help workers perform jobs at elevated heights and are commonly used in construction, manufacturing, retail, and entertainment. When not used properly, scissor lifts create unsafe working conditions that can lead to property damage, personal injury, and death. Accidents involving scissor lifts usually occur as a result of insufficient training, a lack of fall protection, or issues affecting the positioning and stabilization of the lift. Any worker using this equipment must receive proper OSHA scissor lift training to prevent injuries and fatalities.

In 2010, a tragic scissor lift accident occurred at the University of Notre Dame. A 20-year-old student employed as a videographer was positioned on a scissor lift to film the football team's practice. He had not received scissor lift safety training. His lack of training, coupled with adverse weather, created a hazardous working environment. While on the lift, the videographer raised it over 39 feet in the air. Heavy winds, gusting at more than 50 mph, knocked the tower over, killing the student employee.

scissor lift

OSHA's investigation concluded that the university failed to maintain safe working conditions and was culpable in the videographer's death for having him utilize the lift after the issuance of a weather service advisory. The university was cited for several violations, including failure to conduct required lift inspections, failure to have the equipment serviced, and failure to provide the unit's operating manual.

OSHA Scissor lift certification covers standards for scaffolding as well as additional hazards specific to lifts and how to ensure their safe usage. Fall protection is typically the most violated safety practice when using a scissor lift. Scissor lifts can fall over when not properly stabilized, such as in adverse weather, when situated on uneven surfaces, or when overloaded with heavy materials. In addition, a worker's risk of slipping off the platform increases if guardrails are removed, brakes are not set properly, or the unit is driven with the lift in an elevated position.

Scissor lifts are compact and easy to move and store, making them a popular tool where workers need to access heights. While OSHA does not require scissor lift workers to be equipped with harnesses, some companies and job sites have implemented the requirement that workers wear a personal fall restraint system. Generally, if the scissor lift has an adequate guardrail system, workers don't need a harness. However, additional fall protection is needed if the guardrail system is inadequate.

Compliance Training Online offers an online scissor lift course that complies with OSHA standards. The course covers safe operating procedures for scissor lifts, including the responsibilities assigned to employers, supervisors, and workers, including the responsibility of employers to provide training. Our flexible learning environment does not impose time restrictions for course completion, allowing course takers to log on and off as needed. Online scissor lift certification ensures employees are prepared to use lifts safely and demonstrates the reputability of your company.

Visit Compliance Training Online to learn more about our course offerings and volume discounts.

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