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Scissor lifts refer to work platforms used for safely moving workers to different locations in various industries like construction, entertainment, manufacturing, and retail.
They differ from aerial lifts in the sense that their lifting mechanisms move the work platform directly up and down with the use of cross beams that function in a scissor-like manner. Although scissor lifts have the same dangers as scaffolding equipment, this can be averted when you get the right scissor lift hire Auckland provider. Even more importantly, you should ensure that your workers adhere to the safety tips laid down by the manufacturer. Otherwise, you won’t see the benefits of your scissor lift hire. In this article, we will be detailing vital safety tips to keep in mind when using scissor lifts. Read on to learn more.
Make sure that the scissor lift hire provider has scissor lifts that have guardrails to prevent the falling of workers. In this regard, it is the duty of employers to train their workers the following:
- How to determine that guardrail systems are in place before they start to work with scissor lifts.
- That that the only place to stand is on the work platform and never on the guardrails.
- They should also be trained on how to keep work in easy to reach places to avoid having to lean away from the equipment.
As any top scissor lift hire Auckland provider will tell you, the wind tends to make extended lifts to be unstable.
One of the most important safety tips for preventing electrocution or crushing hazards when working with scissor lifts is correct positioning. Crushing incidents are far too common in workplaces that use scissor lifts, and this can expose workers close by or those not using the equipment. Scissor lifts are susceptible to the same crushing dangers as vehicles and other mobile worksite gear. Apart from following the instructions of scissor lift hire companies, employees should ensure they train workers to be particularly keen when:
- A moving vehicle is operating close to a scissor lift
- A moving vehicle is close to a stationary object
- It passes beneath a stationary object, for instance, a support beam or a door frame
It is critically important to position the scissor lift in a manner that avoids arc flash, thermal burns, and electrocution especially when you use them near live power lines. Because electricity can jump or arc to the worker or scissor lift, electrocution can take place even without the lift or the worker touching the power line.
One of the responsibilities of employers in ensuring safety while working with scissor lifts is that they check to ascertain the equipment are stable, so they won’t collapse or tip over. The following are some of the safety practices that will ensure stable and safe conditions for scissor lifts:
- Adhere to the instructions laid down by the manufacturer for safe movement. It usually bars moving scissor lifts in an elevated position.
- Implement traffic control guidelines to ensure other pieces of equipment can’t get into contact with the scissor lift.
- The work locations you choose should have firm, and level surfaces to prevent instability. Avoid surfaces with ground obstructions, holes, bumps, slopes, or debris.
Make sure the outside weather conditions are favourable before you use the lift outside. Scissor lifts designed for outdoor use generally have a wind speed limitation of 28 miles per hour and below.
While there is no mandatory certification needed to operate scissor lifts, OSHA dictates that employers train their workers and avail them with the necessary PPE before operating the gear. This can be done by exposing your workers to basic training regularly. It helps to ensure that the work crew is always safe when using a scissor lift. A good scissor lift hire Auckland will make sure to advise you to ensure that your employees are trained on the safe usage of these devices.
Even when you are most cautious when using a scissor lift, you still cannot be guaranteed a safe work environment without proper and regular maintenance of the said gear. If the scissor lift equipment is yours, make sure to adhere to the recommended maintenance schedule. But if you have to rent it, make sure you acquire yours from a reputable scissor lift hire provider. Also, ask to see evidence of regular maintenance of the lifts. Otherwise, do not sign the rental agreement.
Before starting to use a scissor lift hire Auckland, always have your workers inspect and test the controls of the equipment. More specifically, you need to pay keen attention to the emergency stop function.
While it is important to inspect the whole unit regularly, pay special attention to the brakes and guardrail to prevent unforeseeable failure while operating the equipment.
Avoid overloading the platform.
Most people overload the platform when using a scissor lift and they have no clue about it. Depending on the brand and the model, each scissor lift has specifications that have to be strictly followed to prevent accidents. You must see the weight that you are going to put inside the platform as a priority.
If the weight is exceeded, you risk destabilizing the platform unstable. In case the weight undermines the base, it puts the individuals aboard the platform at risk of falling occasioned by outside forces, for instance, gusts of wind that can shake the platform. Additionally, overloading the lift can damage it, which will result in more money being paid to your scissor lift hire Auckland service.
Ensuring that the areas that surround the scissor lift are clear helps to avoid unwanted collisions. If you intend to use the scissor lift in a warehouse, ensure that all floor workers know the path of the machine and also understand that there are materials being moved at height. For outdoor work, check to ensure that no power lines pass nearby, that all workers know the job going on at the site, and that the terrain is stable.
Knowing the safety rules when operating a scissor lift is of crucial importance. It helps to avoid needless accidents and fatalities. Before you rent a lift, make sure that the scissor lift hire provider maintains the equipment regularly. Also, take care not to overload the platform as this puts personnel on it at a greater risk of an accident.