Scissor platforms, aerial lifts, boom lifts and lift tables are types of lifts that require forklift certification as well as standard forklifts. These lifts are used to raise and lower materials rather than having workers manually carry material that would be too heavy and cumbersome. Building material and other inventory can now be moved using a scissor lift by one person instead of many, saving construction and other businesses lots of time and money.
However what some newer businesses fail to recognize is that these types of lifts can be as dangerous or even more dangerous than a standard forklift. Many workplace injuries have been reported from non-certified and untrained employees utilizing alternate types of lifts either improperly or without proper safety precautions.
These lifts typically hoist more than a ton of material more than thirty feet into the air. Imagine a ton or more of building material or supplies falling three stories or more. The damage that can result can be significant, including injuries and even death to anyone in the general work area. Due to industry demand, some manufacturers recently have developed scissor lifts capable of handling even larger loads, up to five tons in some lift models. Needless to say, these need to be used only by properly trained, responsible employees.
Remember, these platforms can be moved around as well as lifted up and down. Many warehouses use them nowadays, and they are being utilized by more and more maintenance crews during cleaning, power washing, painting and other maintenance tasks, both indoor and out.
Operators need to not only know the limitations of these lifts, but they also need to understand what you should and should not do with them. For instance, moving a fully raised load is a mistake that can have disastrous results. Moving about with workers on a raised lift is also a safety violation that can result in injury or death.
If your business is going to use scissor lifts, aerial platforms, boom lifts and other related equipment, you need to know that these lifts fall under heavy equipment and OSHA power industrial truck guidelines, and improper use resulting from non-trained or non-certifies personnel can result in fines as well as lawsuits from any accidents that happen.
If you are an employee at a workplace that utilizes this type of equipment, insist on proper training and certification either in-house or at manufacturer provided training facilities. If you are an employer who uses this equipment, put a supervisor in charge of proper training, certification, and re-certification of any individuals who will be authorized to operate the lifts.