Aerial Lift Accidents Waiting to Happen [Video]

aerial lift fails are aerial lift accidents waiting to happen

The epic forklift fail has gained international attention over the past few years. Dangerous speeds, mind-boggling forklift configurations (including using a forklift to elevate another forklift) and other boneheaded near-blunders are viral videos waiting to happen.

But don’t forget about aerial lifts and scissor lifts – or both at the same time, as we’ll see in a minute.

Given their sheer height and proximity to dangerous hazards like power lines and heavy winds (just to name a few), it’s kind of surprising that aerial lift incidents, or “fails”, aren’t as widespread as forklift fails.

Don’t worry, though. has gone deep into the internet (not for the faint of heart) and scoured around for some no-way, what-were-they-thinking (were they thinking at all?), dangerous, sometimes death-defying scissor lift and aerial lift pictures and videos.

Lucky for you, we made it back with some of the craziest pictures you’ve ever witnessed. And lucky for the people involved with these photos and videos, they made it out all right. But just because they remained unharmed, that doesn’t mean it’s okay to ignore aerial lift and scissor lift training., the leader in online aerial lift training, offers complete courses for aerial lifts, scissor lifts, fall protection training, and much more.

How NOT to Operate an Aerial Lift or Scissor Lift

Some of the pictures we found showing improper aerial lift operation were enough to give us the goosebumps – and we weren’t even operating the equipment! Just a few of the most serious safety violations include:

  • Workers completely outside of the man basket
  • Stacking multiple ladders as scissor lifts for maintenance and painting
  • Creating makeshift aerial lifts with ladders and golf carts
  • Improper load balancing
  • Disregard for safety harnesses and other personal protective equipment
  • Using a forklift to elevate a scissor lift (we thought we had seen it all!)
  • And many more

After looking at some of the photos and videos out there – this one is popular on our Facebook page – it’s hard to believe there aren’t more aerial lift accidents every year.

The U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) regularly cites companies and individual workers for aerial lift and scissor lift violations. Just some of the OSHA standards related to aerial lift training are 29 CFR 1910.67, 29 CFR 1910.269(p), 29 CFR 1926.21, 29 CFR 1926.453, and 29 CFR 1926.502 – and that’s just scratching the surface!aerial lift certification

Safe Aerial Lift and Scissor Lift Operation – It All Starts with Training

Both aerial lifts and scissor lifts can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. And trust us, the people in those pics and videos you saw have no clue what they’re doing. Safe scissor lift operation starts with common sense stability factoring, proper positioning, and an understanding of fall protection requirements. Likewise, aerial lift safety also centers around fall protection training. If you’re not sure about OSHA’s requirements regarding aerial lift fall protection training, check out our blog post on the subject.

We have a great selection of aerial lift, scissor lift, and fall protection training available – and some of our courses are available in Spanish, too! is your #1 source for OSHA aerial lift and scissor lift training – and we can help get you started today! If you have any questions about our training, or would like to talk with one of our OSHA training experts, give us a call at (602) 277-0615, or visit our contact page. We look forward to getting you certified!

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