There are common safety concerns that operators worry about when selecting the best scissor lift for their project. Each of these concerns can be avoided with routine maintenance checks, planning before the start of a project and mindful operation of the equipment when in use. Here are three of the most common issues operators run into with scissor lifts:
Pay attention to load capacity
As an operator of a scissor lift, you need to be mindful of the equipment's load capacity because overloading your scissor lift with too much weight can cause the equipment to fail, break or potentially injure one of your workers. Each lift will come with warnings that tell you how much weight they can handle, and while lifts are designed to support multiple workers at once, they cannot support more weight then what's specified.
Check for oil leaks
Scissor lifts depend on hydraulics that require oil to allow them to move up and down. If there is a leak in your system which is causing the hydraulic oil fluid to spill out, the equipment will begin to fail. It doesn't matter if it's a small or fairly significant leak; your equipment will begin to perform poorly until it eventually malfunctions entirely. The best way to prevent this from happening is to regularly inspect your lift. Have it looked at after every job or project and have your operators review the equipment before using it for the day. This saves you the trouble of potentially getting behind on your project or of having a worker injured on the job.
Watch for tipping hazards
Scissors lifts tipping is one of the most common safety concerns for operators. This is often due to the lift being operated or driven over a surface that is not properly levelled. Before starting your project, you'll want to identify a specific path where your lift will travel throughout the site. Check for any soft spots in the surface and either dig them up, fill them with gravel and re-compact or choose not to drive over that area entirely. These soft spots create an unbalanced surface and when the lift's weight travels over them, its weight is shifted, causing the top heavy equipment to teeter and tip over. Those on the platform will be in significant danger if this occurs because they are falling from a significant height and will not be able to protect themselves. Your operator will need to be aware of any warnings the lift provides, like flashing lights or loud alarms, and be prepared to take action to protect the workers on the platform as quickly as possible.
Other things that may cause the lift to tip are bad tyres. Always regularly check the health of your tyres and replace if they begin to appear worn down. Having a tyre go out or not properly grip the surface can cause significant safety hazards for your workers.
Contact a company like Instant Scaffolding WA if you have specific questions about the type of scissor lift you need for a job to ensure maximum safety.