Scissor Lift Safety

by Will Tom Gray
OSHA regulates scissor lifts, More specifically, Self Propelled Elevating Platforms as mobile scaffolds rather than aerial lifts. The requirements for mobile scaffolds are covered in CFL 1926.452(w) .

OSHA requirements for the construction of mobile scaffolds are to be met by the manufacturer in the ANSI A92.6-1999 standard for Self-Propelled Elevating Platforms.

Personal fall protection for workers on scaffolds also applies to the Scissor Lift. OSHA states that a worker need only be protected from falling by a properly designed and maintained guardrail system. However, if the guardrail system is less than adequate, or the worker leaves the safety of the work platform, an additional fall protection device would be required. (To meet the guardrail standard the access gate of the platform must be securely closed.)

Before a scaffold is moved, each employee on the scaffold shall be made aware of the move.

Employers are prohibited from letting employees ride on the scaffold unless the following conditions exist As stated in CFR 1926.452(w)(6)
  • The surface on which the scaffold is being moved is within 3 degrees of level, and free of pits, holes, and obstructions.
  • The height to base width ratio of the scaffold during movement is two to one or less, unless the scaffold is designed and constructed to meet or exceed nationally recognized stability test requirements such as those listed in paragraph (x) of Appendix A to this subpart (ANSI/SIA A92.5 and A92.6);
  • Outrigger frames, when used, are installed on both sides of the scaffold;
  • When power systems are used, the propelling force is applied directly to the wheels, and does not produce a speed in excess of 1 foot per second (.3 mps);
  • No employee is on any part of the scaffold which extends outward beyond the wheels, casters, or other supports. ( This includes platform extensions )
Though the requirements for aerial lifts do not apply to the scissor lift some of them make good sense and familiarity with them could reduce risk for scissor lifts and scaffolds.

CFL 1926.452(w) / Requirements for mobile scaffolds