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Aerial and Scissor lifts are work platforms used to safely move workers vertically and to different locations in a variety of industries including construction, retail, entertainment and manufacturing. Scissor lifts are different from aerial because the lifting mechanism moves the work platform straight up and down using crossed beams functioning in a scissor like fashion. Although scissor lifts present hazards similar to scaffolding when extended and stationary, using scissor lifts safely depends on considering equipment capabilities, limitations and safe practices. Employers must comply with the following OSHA standards (29 CFR) to protect workers from hazards associated with scissor lifts.
- 1910.23 – Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes
- 1910.28 – Safety Requirements for Scaffolding
- 1910.29 – Manually Propelled Mobile Ladder Stands and Scaffolds (Towers)
- 1910.333 – Selection and Use of Work Practices Shipyards
- 1915.71 – Scaffolds or Staging Construction
- 1926.21 – Safety Training and Education
- 1926.451 – General Requirements
- 1926.452 – Additional Requirements to Specific Types of Scaffolds
- 1926.454 – Training Requirements
Scissor lifts must have guardrails installed to prevent workers from falling (see 29 CFE 1926.451(g) or 29 CFR 1910.29(a)(3)(vii). Employers should train workers to:
- Check to see that a guardrail system is in place before working on the scissor lift
- Only stand on the work platform; never stand on the guardrails
- Keep work within easy reach to avoid leaning away from the scissor lift
HOW LONG IS THE COURSE?
This training program is 4 hours long and upon completion will receive a certificate and wallet card.
Employers must provide workers training on hazards, including how to work safely with or near scissor lifts. (29 CFR 1926.454). Training must, at a minimum, include:
- Manufacture’s instructions for operating the scissor lift vertically and while in transit
- How to handle materials on the scissor lift, including weight limits
- Other work site hazards workers may encounter when working on a scissor lift (e.g., contact with electrical wires).
- Reporting any equipment defects or maintenance needs.
HOW OFTEN DO I RETRAIN OR RE-CERTIFY
To remain compliant with OSHA standards and regulations, aerial lift and scissor lift certifications must be renewed regularly or when user demonstrates incompetency. A three year renewal of certification is the best practice to ensure workers are as proficient as possible, as OSHA makes adjustments from time to time to address any new safety issues and emergency responses that have arisen over previous years due to work incidents and safety improvements. To remain compliant to the new changes, re-certification is necessary to prevent work-related injuries, mistakes or even death.
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