OSHA Hazard Alert
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has responded to a number of recent scissor lift accidents by issuing a hazard alert.
OSHA points out that over a one-year period, it has investigated 10 fatalities and more than 20 other serious injuries it terms ‘preventable’ involving scissor lifts.
Most of these injuries and fatalities were the result of employers not properly addressing fall protection, stabilization and positioning.
The alert reminds employers that only trained workers should be allowed to use scissor lifts, and employers should make sure that those workers show that they can use a scissor lift properly.
Training must include manufacturers’ instructions for operating and moving the lift; handling materials on the lift, including weight limits; and other work site hazards workers could encounter, such as contact with electrical wires. OSHA stresses that training must cover reporting any equipment defects or maintenance needs.
Employer obligations include making sure the equipment is properly maintained, manufacturers’ instructions are followed, personal protective equipment is worn, and safe work practices are practiced.
"Scissor lifts provide a safe and reliable platform for workers to perform job tasks when used according to the manufacturer’s instructions," OSHA says. "When not used properly, scissor lifts can present a serious hazard to workers. Employers are responsible for keeping workers safe."