A Brief Detail about the Importance of Scissor Lift Operator Training

The OSHA (Operational Safety and Health Administration) classifies scissor lifts as mobile scaffolds. Regardless, the safety guidelines are the same as that of aerial lifts. Well, one must always follow these guidelines to avoid any mishap from happening. Tipping over, collapsing, falling, and getting electrocuted are some of the most common incidents in workplaces. The reason behind that is one – untrained operators. It is why OSHA has made scissor lift operator safety training mandatory among all companies.

Scissor lifts are extremely useful for their help in warehouses, construction sites, manufacturing units, godowns, etc. Their use is prevalent even in the entertainment industry while shooting scenes. However, as operating a scissor lift requires one to work at an elevated height, having proper training is a must.

Learn more about scissor lift operator training and its importance in the article below.

Adequate Training Can Avoid Unfortunate Incidents

According to CFOI data, nearly 72% of accidents related to scissor lifts occurred on construction sites. It was also discovered that every 9 out of 13 scissor lift-related injuries happen because the worker isn’t equipped with protective gear. The guardrail provided on the machinery is enough to solve its purpose, but the lack of training leads most accidents to occur.

Scissor lift training includes –

  • Instructing and training workers on equipment use
  • The necessities of reevaluation
  • Transit operations
  • Average and maximum weight limit of the scissor lift
  • Identifying hazards and taking precautions
  • Reporting defects or equipment malfunctions
  • Understanding when it’s time for maintenance

Understand the Importance of Regular Inspection

Inspecting the worksite, machinery, vehicle, and other equipment is crucial for workers to execute before starting their scheduled work. In operator training programs, site workers are trained on how to conduct the pre-start inspection process by checking fluid levels, tire conditions, battery meter, guardrail stability, and so on. They are also trained to check controls on the ground level and the scissor lift. 

Other inspection includes checking the ground for cracks, potholes, or speed bumps to avoid them while working on the scissor lift. All these are an essential part of scissor lift operation training because trained operators are less likely to be a part of an accident. However, unfortunate incidents still happen as most workstations either do not recruit trained workers or because of failing to emphasize much on these pre-work inspections.

Workers can avoid getting crushed by the Scissor Lift

Without certified training, scissor lifts pose more threats than just falling from the top or failing to control it. Hence, the training also educates workers on why they should be more careful while moving the vehicle near support beams, moving vehicles, or pedestrians. The best thing is to mark the area where the work will progress so pedestrians or other vehicles avoid it. 

Another rule of thumb for scissor lifts is to never move it from one place to another while the lift is elevated. Moving it without lowering it increases the risks of toppling over. And lastly, workers are also trained to never position themselves between the joists, beams, and basket rails. Sometimes, untrained workers might get trapped between any object and the lift. Such unfortunate incidents can severely injure or even bring death.

Staying inside the Platform

Training workers on how to work while on top of the scissor lift is also crucial. There are specific rules that operators and workers need to understand carefully before working on the lift. The most important ones are –

  • It is a rule to avoid putting pressure on the edges or on the two sides of the platform. The weight should always be more on the center.
  • Workers should always keep a standard distance from the guardrails. Even if they need to move towards them, under no circumstances should they stand on them. Instead, they must further elevate the platform to reach the desired location.
  • Leaning on the guardrails is also prohibited because of certain hazards.
  • Workers on the scissor lift must ensure that all occupants and the weight of tools do not cross the platform’s load capacity.

Following these rules are part of the training course. Trained and certified workers will never break these rules, and therefore, companies must hire such workers for their projects.

Wrapping Up

The importance of scissor lift operator safety training can be evidenced in the way accidents decrease in number. As workers and operators understand the hazards and dangers of working with scissor lifts, they learn how to avoid mishaps. Trained workers will also ensure that they inspect the entire site before proceeding to work so as to avoid all sorts of hazards. 

Besides that, OSHA has made it mandatory for companies to only recruit trained and certified workers. It is indeed a significant step to avoiding accidents at the workplace.