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scissor lift safety tips

Using a scissor lift obviously has its dangers, just like using any other peace of modern day machinery. But, it still makes us cringe to think that users of scissor lifts still do not understand or adhere to the basic safety methods when using scissor lifts.

What may be a simple 5 minute check could prevent you from injury or even worse. So, to shed some light on the subject we have put together a list of ‘Do Not’ when using a scissor lift.

  • Do not drive near drop-offs, holes, or loading docks.
  • Do not raise platform on slope or drive onto slope when elevated.
  • Do not raise platform on uneven or soft surfaces.
  • Do not drive onto uneven or soft surfaces when elevated.

These first four points may be one of the most obvious but it happens time and time again where a risk assessment is not carried out at ground level first. The result can be deadly, and the picture below shows that. This picture was taken after a scissor lift apparently tipped over when it rode over a sidewalk grate, causing the grate to give way and the lift to fall over. It resulted in a young man loosing his life, which could have been so easily avoided.

boom lift fallen over

Source: NJ.COM

  • Do not use without guardrails, mid rails, chain, or bar in place.
  • Do not stand or sit on guardrails.

These are there for only one purpose, to help keep you safe. They are not there to sit on or used to gain the extra bit of height, they must be used correctly.

You must never ever think about using any type of lift that does not have the guardrails, mid rails, chain, or bar in place.

  •  Do not raise platform in windy or gusty conditions.

Speaks for itself really, never use a scissor lift if you are outside, with wind speeds of more than 25 mph.

  • Do not use ladder, scaffolding, or other devices to increase size or working height of platform.

As tempting as it may be scissor lifts or any type of lift for that matter where no designed to be used to accommodate additional working platforms. And, were certainly not designed to accommodate what these guys are doing below.

Using scissor lifts as scaffold

  • Do not override safety devices.

The safety devices are there for your benefit and should not be tampered with. In the worst case scenario, the override could go unnoticed and could be very dangerous.

  • Do not raise platform while machine is on a truck, forklift, or other device or vehicle.

This does happen from time to time and the main cause of this is down to contractors or users of scissor lifts just been lazy. The picture below is a prime example of that. Don’t do it.

Using a lift on the back of a lorry.


  • Do not use with damaged tyres.
  • Do not use with tires that are not per manufacturers, specifications.
  • Do not use if working platform is not working properly or if any part is damaged, worn or missing.

If you are not happy with the condition of the scissor lift, don’t use it. Tyres are the most important thing to check and if they look damaged or severally worn, contact the hire company immediately. The tyres are the only thing that will keep the scissor lift level, it only takes 5 minutes to check them and don’t cut corners.

  • Do not attach ropes or chains to guardrails or use as a crane.

The guard rails are not designed to cope with any type of load suspended from a rope or chain. There sole purpose is to keep the operator in the platform safe and from falling out, not to hoist loads up to another level.

That’s it. We hope you have found our scissor lift safety list useful, and if you spot anything that you think is un-safe report it immediately as you could safe someone’s life.



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