Powered access equipment can be dangerous. Scissor lifts can be especially dangerous if used improperly. While scissor lifts are used in a many different industries for a variety of reasons, they are still extremely dangerous if precautions are not paid attention to.
The risks of scissor lift operation are serious and should be taken into consideration before work begins. You should put a fall protection plan in place to avoid injury. One of the most common risks that accompany owning a scissor lift is the risk of overturning. When aerial work platforms are used correctly, they are not dangerous. Often times they are set up on uneven ground that is not suitable for equipment that carries the risk of tipping. If you are going to operate a scissor lift, you should carry out or have someone carry out a ground assessment. This will ensure that the ground you use your scissor lift on is safe and secure. If ground conditions are good, the risk is lowered significantly. If the ground is loose and uneven, it is not suitable for operating a scissor lift. No matter how much safety equipment your workers use, they will sustain serious injuries if the machine tips onto its side.
While uneven ground is a common cause of tipping, the most common cause is misuse. If your workers drive with the platform elevated, balance will be compromised and the machine will likely tip. Another example of misuse is when workers hang items on the guardrails, over pack the platforms and exceed the weight capacity, and sit on the guardrails. All of these actions compromises the balance of the machine and can cause it to overturn.
If you and your staff follow the safety guidelines, misuse will not be a problem. In this situation, injury can be avoided by simply following the rules. Worn tires can also cause tipping, which is why you should have your tires and the rest of your construction equipment checked often. Pay attention to warning lights and have routine maintenance performed on your machine regularly.
If your staff exceeds the load capacity, the machine will become damaged. The motor could give out or the supports and balances could be compromised. These damages could end in disaster if they happen while people are operating the machine. If you constantly find yourself exceeding or coming close to the load capacity, it is time for you to purchase a scissor lift with a larger weight capacity.
If you use your scissor lift for a purpose that it was not intended for, the scissor lift will likely sustain damage or even overturn. Also, using scissor lifts that are in poor condition is a recipe for disaster. Maintenance should be performed on a regular basis. Usually every 6 months is a good schedule to follow under normal use. If you know your scissor lift is damaged, do not let workers operate it. The machine could fail and overturn, which could seriously injure your workers.
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