The Essential Dos and Don'ts of Operating Scissor Lifts

Scissor lifts are valuable equipment used across various industries, providing a safe and efficient way to reach elevated areas. Whether it's for construction, maintenance, or other purposes, operating a scissor lift demands attention to safety and proper handling. Understanding the dos and don'ts when using these machines is crucial to prevent accidents and provide a productive work environment. Let's dive into the essential guidelines for operating scissor lifts safely and effectively.

Guidelines for Scissor Lift Safety


Training and Certification

Before operating a scissor lift, make sure you've undergone comprehensive training and received certification. Understanding the controls, safety procedures, and maintenance protocols is vital for safe operation.

Inspection Prior to Use

Always conduct a thorough inspection of the lift before use. Check for any damaged or worn-out parts, test the emergency lowering system, verify the stability of the lift, and examine the condition of the guardrails and platform.

Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Equip yourself with appropriate PPE, including a hard hat, safety harness, non-slip footwear, and high-visibility clothing. These items significantly reduce the risk of injury while operating the scissor lift.

Adhere to Load Capacity

Every scissor lift comes with a specific load capacity. Never exceed this limit as it can jeopardize the stability and safety of the equipment. Be mindful of the combined weight of workers, tools, and materials being used on the platform.

Use on Stable Ground

Set up the scissor lift on level ground, avoiding unstable or uneven surfaces. If necessary, use outriggers or stabilizers to increase stability, especially when working on slopes or inclines.

Operate Cautiously

Familiarize yourself with the controls and operate the lift smoothly and steadily. Avoid abrupt movements and always keep a safe distance from obstacles, overhead obstructions, or power lines.

Communicate Effectively

Maintain clear communication with ground personnel or other workers when operating the scissor lift. Use hand signals, radios, or other reliable communication methods to make sure everyone is aware of movements and tasks.

safety and scissor lifts


Overreach or Lean Over Guardrails

Never extend your body beyond the guardrails or attempt to overreach while on the platform. Maintain a safe distance from the edge to prevent the risk of falls or tipping.

Ignore Environmental Factors

Be mindful of weather conditions such as wind, rain, or snow, as these can affect the stability and operation of the lift. Avoid operating the scissor lift in adverse weather conditions that could compromise safety.

Modify or Override Safety Features

Do not tamper with safety features or attempt to bypass them for convenience. These features are in place to protect users and should never be altered.

Carry Unsecured Loads

Always secure tools and materials properly on the platform to prevent them from falling. Unsecured items can cause injuries to workers below or create instability on the lift.

Use the Lift as a Ladder or Scaffolding

Scissor lifts are designed for elevated work platforms, not as a substitute for ladders or scaffolding. Avoid using them for tasks they're not intended for, as it can lead to accidents.

Operate Without Supervision or Alone

Operating a scissor lift alone, especially without any form of supervision, is risky. Always make sure there's someone available in case of emergencies or assistance.

By adhering to these essential dos and don'ts, workers can significantly reduce the risks associated with operating scissor lifts. Prioritizing safety, proper training, regular maintenance, and adherence to guidelines can provide a secure and efficient work environment when using these invaluable machines. Always remember, safety is paramount when working at heights.

About All Access Services

Serving construction projects throughout Southern California with heavy equipment rentals, we have 3 locations in San Diego, Orange County, and Riverside to serve our clients. Each location carries a fleet of scissor liftstelehandlersboom lifts, and forklifts available for rent at affordable rates. We strive to provide the best customer service in the industry and hope to earn your trust and business!