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How to improve scissor lift safety at the workplace

While scissor lifts help make the job easier at a New Jersey workplace, they can also spell danger if they are used incorrectly. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration investigated several cases of preventable accidents involving scissor lifts that caused serious injuries, some of which proved fatal. The agency reported that the deaths and injuries were largely due to a lack of employee training on scissor lift safety.

One way to prevent scissor lift accidents is if employers keep the equipment properly maintained and operated according to the manufacturer's instructions. It is also advisable that they allow only trained employees to operate them. Employers are further responsible to evaluate the work site before operating a scissor lift. Factors such as an uneven ground, holes, obstructions, bumps, debris, slopes and drop-offs are hazards that could cause a scissor lift to collapse or tip over. Whenever scissor lifts are operated outdoors, it is advisable employees only use them in favorable weather conditions and avoid operating them on days where the winds will climb above 28 miles per hour as well.

Positioning the scissor lift correctly is another important safety factor. Using scissor lifts around fixed objects or moving vehicles could expose other employees to crushing hazards. Therefore, employees who operate scissor lifts in such an environment need to be extra cautious. Scissor lift operators should also be trained about the dangers associated with energized power lines, which can cause an arc flash, thermal burns and electrocution, even if neither an employee nor the scissor lift touches the power line.

Workers' compensation benefits can be a great help to injured workers and their families after a workplace accident involving equipment, such as scissor lifts. Those who are having trouble with the claims process may want to have the assistance of an attorney.

Source: Construction Equipment , "OSHA HAZARD ALERT - SCISSOR LIFT SAFETY", Feb. 7, 2017

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