Several Oklahoma companies require their employees to operate scissor lifts as part of their job. In one year, there were 20 investigated injuries and 10 fatalities resulting from preventable workplace scissor lift-related accidents around the country, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.
OSHA found that employers were to blame for the majority of these workplace injuries and fatalities because they failed to adequately train their employers regarding scissor lift safety measures. It is also the duty of employers to ensure controls are in place that address positioning, stabilization and fall protection when scissor lifts are used.
Employees who use scissor lifts should make sure the equipment’s guardrail system is engaged prior to operating them. It is also a good idea that they stand on the lift’s work platform, not on the guardrails and that they do not try to lean too far from the scissor lift while working.
Employers are responsible for ensuring the scissor lift remains stable when operating so that it will not collapse or tip over. The manufacturer’s instructions warn against moving the lift while it is elevated and using it where hazards, such as bumps, debris, slopes, holes and drop offs could cause it to overturn. Further, scissor lifts should not be operated where wind speeds will reach 28 miles per hour or more. They should also be used away from other equipment to avoid a collision and should be operated within 10 feet of electrical power equipment, such as power lines.
Employers should do all they can to ensure workplace safety, especially for their employees who operate scissor lifts and other hazardous equipment. The failure to properly train them could result in a serious accident, and workers who have been injured as a result may want to meet with an attorney to see what legal recourse might be available.
Source: Construction Equipment, “OSHA HAZARD ALERT – SCISSOR LIFT SAFETY”, Feb. 7, 2017