Scissor lifts can cause significant and sometimes fatal injuries if they are not used properly. Workers in Minnesota as well as their employers may benefit from tips regarding the proper usage of this type of industrial equipment.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration conducted a one-year-long investigation on 10 preventable deaths and over 20 preventable injuries that occurred as a result of scissor lifts. The agency discovered that inadequate training for employees on the correct use of the scissor lift was the primary cause of most of the fatalities and injuries.

It is necessary for employers to evaluate a job site to identify all potential hazards in order to choose the right kind of equipment. Effective controls for the stabilization, positioning and fall protection of scissor lifts should be evaluated and implemented by employers who require the use of the machines.

The only employees who should be allowed to work with scissor lifts should be those who are adequately trained, and they should be required by their employers to demonstrate that they are able to use a scissor lift properly. The safe use of scissor lifts include providing workers with effective training and personal protective equipment, implementing safe work practices, properly maintaining the equipment and adhering to the manufacturer’s instructions. Some scissor safety tips include checking that a guardrail system in place before use, isolating the machine and directing traffic to avoid other machines coming in contact with the lift and working on hard and level flooring. Users should also employ ground guides when moving a scissor lift around the workplace.

Workers who sustain workplace injuries may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for medical expenses and a percentage of wages lost during the recovery period. An attorney can often be of assistance in preparing and submitting the required claim and at a subsequent appeals hearing if the claim is denied.