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Scissor Lift Safety Training

While long-time operators may feel confident in their ability to drive a scissor lift, their experience may result in harmful habits. The fact that an operator has been doing something a specific way for a while does not guarantee that it is the right or safe way to do it. It is only a matter of time before an accident happens if an operator continues recklessly, out of habit.

When defining scissor lift safety operations, there are two main factors: familiarity with your tools and your work environment.

Before ever operating equipment, drivers need to complete job and machine-specific training. Keep in mind that controls and handling might vary greatly from brand to brand. In some circumstances, drivers could require additional training tailored to those variations. Everyone has a role to play in ensuring safety, from the employer to the field supervisor to the operator. Safety starts with good training.


Operators need enough experience so that they can properly apply what they learned in the classroom to real-world situations. They should be competent, safe, and confident. In fact, standards mandate that before lift workers can be certified, they need supervision when operating the machine. This is in addition to classroom instruction and a written exam.

A scissor lift driver must show they are familiar with the lift’s operational and safety features before operating it independently. This consists of the following:

Only authorized workers should operate the lift. Drivers should never offer someone a ride on the lift.


Scissor lift operators must receive training and demonstrate that they are familiar with the fundamentals of how to use one properly. Supervisors must receive training on how to supervise a scissor lift operator. The employer must maintain records of trainings as evidence that the required training has been completed.

New guidelines have been put in place by OSHA in an effort to emphasize training in all facets of aerial lift use. Operators, managers who directly supervise the usage of aerial lifts, and even maintenance staff, need to receive specialized training in safe operations, inspections, maintenance, rescue, and other related activities.


Operators must inspect their machine and study its manual before operating it safely. Scissor lift drivers should become familiar with the operator’s manual, their company’s policy, and any extra safety manuals. The manual contains the precise details you require for safe operation with regard to capacity and warning labels, attachment processes, pre-shift inspections, safe operations, maintenance, and attachment methods.

Scissor lifts must be visually and functionally inspected before each day or shift when they are in use, according to standards. Pre-shift checks do not need to take a lot of time. Before the machine is put to use, operators should be able to identify any obvious flaws. These examinations assist in determining whether the machine requires maintenance.

Safe Operations

Before any operators begin working, operators should evaluate the jobsite to make sure there are no significant hazards. Knowing a machine’s slope rating and the appropriate PPE to wear when operating it are both important. Knowing a worksite entails being aware of all traffic situations around.


On a job site, communication is equally crucial. For a job to be done well, it is important to know how to communicate effectively despite the surrounding noise. Pre-shift checks and ongoing inspections of the working environment can help employees stay safe.

What are the Most Common Scissor Lift Accidents?


An overloaded or improperly balanced scissor lift can result in a tip-over. Tip-overs are the most common reason for scissor lift accidents. This mistake results in an average of 25 fatalities each year in the United States. Workers should always consult the operator’s manual for the correct loading procedures. Before use, workers need to make sure the scissor lift is on firm ground. By doing so, employees may help reduce the circumstances and factors that ultimately result in accidents.

Defective Equipment

Accidents with scissor lifts can be caused by any number of factors, including frayed cables, malfunctioning pneumatics, and inadequate safety restraints. A thorough maintenance inspection finds damaged equipment before it causes a problem. To prevent accidents or deaths brought on by defective equipment, scissor lifts must be examined at the start of every shift. Start implementing a maintenance plan right away; it’s just one part of a sound safety strategy in general.

Struck or Crushed by Lift

Being struck by or crushed by the equipment accounts for 12% of accidents involving scissor lifts. Either the lift’s operator is struck or crushed, or someone else who is working nearby is hurt or killed. Both incidents are caused by the operator’s lack of awareness of their surroundings and unfamiliarity with the lift’s settings.

Careless operation of the scissor lift could also result in the operator getting stuck between the lift and other objects.Overhanging dangers, walls, bridges, and trees all need to be taken into consideration.


Falls are the number one cause of death in scissor lifts. Serious injuries can sometimes result from falls. 87 workers were killed between 2011 and 2014 while operating a scissor lift. More than half of those deaths were due to slips, stumbles, and falls from one level to another. Falls are caused by operator carelessness, negligence, and improper usage of safety restraints. Falls can also be caused by operating a scissor lift on unstable ground. OSHA mandates the use of safety harnesses when working on aerial work platforms (AWP), and your employees must always stay inside the safety guardrails.

Maintenance Related

Unmaintained scissor lifts account for 10% of all lift accidents. Regular inspections can find issues with the machine before they become serious enough to cause a malfunction. All operators must be familiar with their surroundings and equipment to prevent accidents. Employees who receive practical instruction and certification are more likely to adhere to these important regulations.

Unstable Terrain

Every aerial work platform, including cherry pickers, telescopic boom lifts, and scissor lifts, needs a strong, stable foundation on which to operate. When performing outside work, employers must ensure their operators always use MEWPs and aerial lifts on flat, level ground. At all costs, avoid inclines, water, mud, and other potential hazards.

Power Line Contact

As you might expect, when employees come into contact with a live overhead power line, electrocutions occur. Operators should beware of any hanging electrical wires. Electrocution can also happen if the lift isn’t properly set up on solid ground or if an operator isn’t wearing the appropriate PPE. Check for any potentially dangerous electrical lines in the lift work zone before starting any work. More training is required for employees that are in close proximity to electricity wires. Keep in mind that hazards that at first glance seem insignificant can result in accidents, injuries, or even fatalities.

Collapsing material injuries

Scissor lifts, which are frequently utilized in industrial construction projects indoors, are typically responsible for injuries caused by collapsing materials. Contact with heavier objects can cause the lift to topple in addition to incomplete or loose building components falling onto employees. Being fully aware of any loose objects before you start the lifting process will help you avoid any injury.

How can Scissor Lift Training Prevent Workplace Accidents?

It’s simpler than you would think to avoid the most prevalent AWP and scissor lift risks. Let’s take, for instance, the experience of Trent into consideration.

Trent worked for a company that did drywall and general construction. During the demolition phase of the project, Trent was working from an elevated scissor lift. Since the scissor lift did not have a guardrail, when Trent lost his balance he fell approximately 6 feet to the concrete floor. His team rushed Trent to the hospital, where he was treated for fractures in his arm and hip.

Trent’s accident was largely avoidable, had he known about the OSHA Requirements when it came to fall protection. Every scissor lift must have a guardrail to prevent falls. Your personnel will be equipped with the most recent information and cutting-edge tools and resources thanks to our OSHA Aligned training and certification. To prevent scissor lift accidents and aerial lift accidents at work, make sure you get the greatest safety training.

Hard Hat Training is here to assist you with your alignment needs. Avoid accidents with aerial and scissor lifts. Reduce the likelihood of falls and other aerial lift mishaps, as well as accidents on aerial work platforms. We provide three various packages, including our Training Kit, Train a Trainer, and Bundle Package programs, if your business needs help with scissor lift & aerial lift certification or has any training gaps. Each offers complete OSHA alignment and is a simple, inexpensive solution to guarantee that your employees are appropriately trained.

Other Safety Concerns

Scissor lifts are expensive equipment used to assist workers in carrying out particular jobs. They should not be used for horseplay or racing. A scissor lift should never be used for anything other than its intended purpose.


Distractions are to blame for many job fatalities and injuries. It may go without saying, but workers are responsible for any injuries that occur as a result of being distracted. Accidents can be avoided, along with time and money savings, by maintaining attention to the task at hand. Never use a device for a purpose other than the one it was intended for.


Although it may not always result in damage, fatigue is a common distraction that frequently lowers productivity. Work that is repetitive or tedious, not getting enough sleep, or working long hours can all contribute to fatigue. An operator should be relieved when they exhibit signs of drowsiness to restore their attentiveness.


Operators should dress correctly for the weather because scissor lifts are exposed to the elements. Both cold and heat can deplete the body’s energy, particularly if sleep and nutrition have been neglected.

Emotional and Physical Health

Stress has the potential to be very disruptive. Stressed-out operators could find it difficult to maintain their focus. It’s best to postpone performing if any employee is feeling particularly irate or upset until the employee has calmed down.

Regulations say that businesses must have a written rescue plan and include a method of quick rescue for wounded employees in that plan. Of course, staff members must be informed of this strategy and given the appropriate training for their part in it.

Scissor Lift Safety Training

Our online Scissor Lift Training course satisfies the criteria for classroom training and complies with regulations. Sections on anatomy, stability, operations, risks, and other topics are covered in each lesson. For the final written test that is part of the course, this presentation includes sporadic practice quizzes. This course contains a checklist that employers can follow when conducting a practical exam in addition to the written test.