Scissor Lift Safety

Scissor Lift Safety

Scissor lifts are a common sight in the construction industry and when used improperly, they can become very costly to the health and safety for you, your employees, and your company.  Many

construction sites use these working platforms to raise workers vertically to elevated heights to perform construction operations.  When used safely they are very efficient and effective tools, improving productively as well as quality.


During the year 2014, 23 people died and 390 more were injured resulting in at least one day away from work due to scissor lifts incidents[1].  Scissor lifts ranked #8 as the most frequently cited serious OSHA violations in the construction industry during 2014[2].  OSHA issued 921 Citations totaling more than $1.8 million for violations related to scissor lifts from October 2014 through September 2015[3].  Again, I repeat “…if used improperly, they can be very costly to the health and safety for you, your employees, and your company.”

Employers in the construction industry must comply with OSHA standards to protect workers from hazards associated with scissor lifts:

  • 1926.21 - Safety Training

  • 1926.453 - Aerial Lifts

  • 1926.454 - Training Requirements


Safe Use Tips

  1. First and foremost before operating a scissor lift, ensure employees are trained.  OSHA requires employers to provide training for employees to work with or near scissor lifts.  The training must include at a minimum:

    • The manufacture’s safe use procedures and the proper handling of materials for scissor lifts

      The nature of hazards associated for scissor lift use (e.g., electrical hazards, fall hazards,

      falling object hazards, etc.)

    • The correct procedure for dealing with any associated hazards for scissor

    • The maximum intended load and the load-carrying capacities of the scissor lift

  2. Employers must ensure inspections are performed before operation and maintenance is performed as necessary per the manufacture’s specifications.

  3. When operating scissor lifts employers should be sure to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations and be sure:

    • They have guardrails installed to prevent workers from falling

    • They are stable and will not tip over or collapse

    • They are positioned to avoid crushing or electrocution hazards

    • They are posiThey are not operated if there is a potential for high winds/gusts


By following these Safe Use Tips, scissor lifts become a safe tool for your construction sites to highly increase productive as well as quality in a safe work practice.


For addition information or assistance please contact Progressive Safety Management, we can help.



[1] Bureau of Labor Statistics:

[2] Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA):

[3] Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA):

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