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Scissor lift safety alert issued

Together there have been five related fatalities throughout the last four years in Europe alone, the HSE has issued a safety alert warning users from the potential dangers that may occur if scissor lifts aren’t correctly operated and maintained. The alert from the  Health and Safety Executive is focusing on two specific types of scissor lift, the JLG 500RTS and 400RTS, that have been involved in the incidents in question. However, it should act as a prompt to all scissor lift operators, scissor lift engineers, training and rental companies to ensure that regular comprehensive maintenance and testing is carried out on scissor lifts.

The fatalities were a result of three incidents during which the scissor lifts were overturned. The failure of two systems in particular is considered to be at the root of the accidents. The first is the oscillating axle, which prevents the lift from being driven on uneven ground whilst the platform is raised. The second reason is the lift/drive interlock, which prevents elevation above a particular height without stabilisers, and driving whilst over this height, or once the stabilisers are deployed.

Health and Safety Executive - Scissor Lift Pre Use Checks

In an attempt to reduce the quantity of incidents involving scissor lifts, the Health and Safety Executive is urging those whom use or maintain them to carry out regular inspections. In particular, the lockout and safety cut out switches should be checked before use as well as forming part of the daily inspection and function testing. It is essential to ensure valves are operational and not stuck or corroded. Further to this, the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations states that any equipment used to elevate personnel should undergo a comprehensive examination every six months.

We don’t want to see any more deaths and the Health and Safety Executive will come down heavily on anyone who is not maintaining their scissor lifts correctly.

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