Category Archives: Scissor Lift Training

Scaffolding vs. Scissor Lift: Which Is Better?

Scaffolding vs. Scissor Lifts

Working at height requires a keen focus on safety. This starts with having the right equipment for keeping workers safe on the job. For years, scaffolding was the safest way to work above ground. But since the invention of scissor lifts and other aerial lifts, scaffolding has taken a back seat when it comes to worker safety.

It pays to know the ins and outs of the scaffolding vs. scissor lift debate. That way, your business can determine if scaffolding, scissor lifts, or a combination of the two best suits your workforce. 

Of course, if you require workers to complete tasks at heights, it is beneficial to provide these employees with aerial and scissor lift certification training. This ensures your workers can gain insights into the scaffolding vs. scissor lift debate. They can also get answers to important questions regarding scissor lift and scaffolding safety.  

What Is a Scissor Lift?

Scissor lifts are designed to help workers move safely at heights. They move vertically via a lifting mechanism that elevates or lowers a work platform as needed.OSHA requires anyone who uses a scissor lift at a U.S. worksite to earn certification. This verifies an operator knows different ways to utilize a scissor lift safely. It confirms the operator knows about scaffolding safety as well. 

aerial lift certification

What Is Scaffolding?

A scaffold is a temporary work platform designed to help employees safely perform tasks at heights. It is frequently used in construction. 

There are several types of scaffolding. These include:

  • • Single 
  • • Double 
  • • Cantilever 
  • • Suspended 
  • • Ladder or Trestle 
  • • Mobile  

Businesses that use scaffolding must operate in accordance with OSHA requirements. Failure to do so can result in OSHA fines and penalties. It can also lead to falls from heights, along with associated accidents, injuries, and fatalities. 

OSHA requires businesses to have scaffold guardrails or a fall arrest system if employees work at 10 ft. or higher. In instances where a worker is using a single- or two-point adjustable suspension scaffold, there must be a guardrail and personal fall arrest system in place. 

Furthermore, OSHA stipulates that all scaffold platforms must be decked or planked. OSHA requires scaffold components to support at least four times their maximum intended load. It states that scaffolding rigging must be able to handle at least six times its designated load, too. 

Only a “competent” employee can use scaffolding as well. This employee must receive OSHA-compliant training that verifies he or she can leverage scaffolding properly. 

Scissor Lift vs. Scaffolding: Things to Consider

A scissor lift can be used as a scaffold work platform. It can provide the same benefits of scaffolding and lower your risk of worker falls from heights

OSHA has established various standards for scissor lift scaffolding safety, including:

– 27: Outlines safety measures for general industry scaffolding and rope descent systems

– 20(b): Defines scissor lift accident prevention responsibilities in the construction industry

– 454: Clarifies the training requirements for construction workers who use scissor lift scaffolding

It is an employer’s responsibility to teach workers how to properly use a scissor lift. With comprehensive training, workers can learn how to safely use a scissor lift and minimize the risk of associated accidents and injuries. They can also learn about scaffold lift differences.

Scaffold Lift Differences: What You Need to Know

scaffoldingAerial and scissor lifts may seem identical at first, but there are notable differences between the two. With the ability to spot the differences between aerial and scissor lifts, workers can safely use the correct lift for the task at hand. 

OSHA defines an aerial lift as any vehicle-mounted device used to elevate a worker. Aerial lifts offer mobility and flexibility, and as such, have replaced ladders and scaffolding at many worksites. They can also move vertically and horizontally. 

Comparatively, a scissor lift is a scaffold work platform used to move workers vertically, according to OSHA. Scissor lifts are commonly used in construction, retail, and other industries for tasks that require workers to move up and down. 

Regardless of whether an employer uses aerial lifts, scissor lifts, or both, safety training is crucial. By educating its workers about scaffold lift differences, an employer can help these workers stay safe when they use different lifts for everyday work.

Scaffolding vs. Scissor Lift: Which Works Best?

Employers must evaluate scissor lifts and traditional scaffolding to find a safe, effective option for their worksites. Upon close evaluation, employers often find that scissor lifts are superior options in comparison to traditional scaffolding for several reasons, including:

1. You can enjoy greater access.

Scissor lifts can be used nearly the same ways as scaffolding, and scissor lift features like all-terrain wheels and self-leveling make them easy to operate at a wide range of jobsites. Plus, scissor lifts can often go where scaffolding cannot.

2. You can guard against worker accidents and injuries.

Scaffolding and ladders are risky, due to the fact that their bases are less stable in comparison to scissor lifts (which use outriggers for increased stability). Also, scaffolding and ladders do not provide as much grip in wet or adverse weather in contrast to scissor lifts. 

3. You can boost public safety.

A scissor lift makes it simple for workers to safely navigate to a jobsite. Many scissor lifts also require less space than scaffolding, and they can be taken down and moved quickly.

4. You can help workers get the job done faster and more efficiently than ever before.

Scissor lifts can be lowered and moved to another location in just minutes. The end result: reduced labor time and increased productivity.

5. You can lower your operating costs.

Scissor lifts can be lowered and moved to storage with much less time and labor than scaffolding.

6. You won’t have to worry about emissions.

Scissor lifts with electric engines produce no harmful emissions.

Scaffolding Dangers to Consider

Clearly, there are many reasons to choose scissor lifts over scaffolding. Along with the aforementioned reasons, businesses may shy away from scaffolding for a variety of reasons, such as:

Risk of Falls

OSHA mandates the use of fall protection when working at 10 ft. or more. Yet, when using scaffolding, contractors often insist on fall protection starting at 6 ft. This is due to the risk of falls associated with poor weather conditions, lack of focus on safety procedures, and improper access to worksites. 

Scaffold Collapse

When scaffolds aren’t erected correctly, the platform can collapse or result in falling items. Proper setup must take many factors into account, such as the weight the scaffold will hold and stability of the foundation. Other setup factors to consider include placement of scaffold planks and the distance from the scaffold to the work area. Proper scaffold setup requires a highly trained worker who knows how to erect, dismantle, and move a scaffold.

Incorrect Planking

When setting up a scaffold, all planks must be cleated and tightly secured. Otherwise, they can slip off. Falling planks can also injure people below. Planking accidents can result from overloading and using the wrong grade of lumber as well. Furthermore, too little or too much overhang can cause planking to tip.

Failure to Inspect

OSHA requires scaffolding to be inspected on a regular basis. Inspections should be done by workers trained in scaffolding setup, dismantling, and maintenance.

Benefits of Aerial Lift Scaffolding and Scissor Lift Scaffolding

OSHA classifies scissor lifts and aerial lifts as scaffolding. However, scissor lifts provide mobility and versatility that traditional scaffolding does not. 

Scissor lift scaffolding and aerial lift scaffolding offer many advantages over traditional scaffolding, such as: 

– Fast setup and movement

– Can be used indoors and outdoors

– Can safely handle more weight than traditional scaffolding

– Provide ample room for tools and equipment

– Can be quickly lowered in high winds or rain

– Easy to pause at different heights

– Can be used on different surfaces

– Can provide access to difficult terrains

– Available in electric and diesel options

Ultimately, scissor lift scaffolding is the smart choice over traditional scaffolding. Scissor lift scaffolding provides better access, more mobility and terrain compatibility, and other benefits that traditional scaffolding cannot match.

The Bottom Line on the Scaffolding vs. Scissor Lift Debate

Scissor lifts cannot stop accidents ⁠— that’s why scissor lift operator training and certification is important. 

Thanks to, workers can immediately earn their scissor lift operator. We offer an affordable and efficient training program to help workers gain the skills they need to safely operate scissor lifts. 

Our online certification training is developed in alignment with OSHA requirements. It is designed for workers of all skill and experience levels. And our training makes it easy for workers to earn their scissor lift certification in as little as one day. 

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Choose CMO for Scissor Lift Certification

Your company may use scissor lifts, scaffolds, or a combination of the two. But every time your workers complete tasks at heights, they risk falling. Without sufficient safety training, these employees can endanger themselves or others. If your business does not comply with OSHA standards, it can receive OSHA violations as well. 

CMO offers best-in-class scissor lift certification training. We make it simple for your scissor lift operators to work according to OSHA standards. Our team will ensure your business complies with OSHA standards at all times. 

To learn more or to sign up for our training and certification classes, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.

Scissor Lift vs. Aerial Lift: What You Need To Know

Scissor lifts and aerial lifts differ from one another. A scissor lift is a type of aerial lift that allows workers to complete tasks at heights. But, the lift moves only up and down. Comparatively, an aerial lift can move in different directions. It also comes in many forms. 

If you’re feeling confused wondering, “what is a scissor lift? I thought they were technically aerial lifts,” you’re not alone. Even though scissor lifts and aerial lifts are often grouped together, they are completely different. And as far as OSHA is concerned, scissor lifts are not aerial lifts. There’s been confusion about the classification of scissor lifts and aerial lifts across many worksites in the United States. Now, let’s look at the scissor lift vs. aerial lift debate in detail. 

Scissor Lift vs. Aerial Lift: What’s the Difference?

There are few differences between an aerial lift and aerial scissor lift (and also a vertical scissor). That’s why so many people – aerial work platform (AWP) workers included – fail to recognize what makes each piece of equipment unique. 

OSHA defines an aerial lift as a machine used to lift workers. An aerial lift lets operators complete tasks at heights. In addition, the machine should only be used by an OSHA-approved operator. Otherwise, an unlicensed aerial lift operator risks operational or maintenance errors that can lead to accidents, injuries, and fatalities. 

A scissor lift is similar to a standard aerial lift. This type of lift can move workers and equipment vertically. As such, a scissor lift enables operators to safely access work areas that commonly require a ladder, tower, or scaffolding. 

It pays to know the similarities and differences between scissor and aerial lifts. Regardless of the type of lifts used across your business, your workers need OSHA-approved certification training, too. This training verifies that your employees know how to use different types of aerial lifts. It also confirms that your workers can do their part to identify scissor and aerial lift hazards and address them right away. 

aerial lift certification

Teach Your Workers About Scissor and Aerial Lifts

If you have scissor or aerial lifts for your business, you need to teach your workers about these machines. This ensures your workers can operate any type of lift in accordance with OSHA standards

It is mandatory for your workers to hold valid certification if they use any type of aerial lift, at any jobsite, at any time. Failure to comply with this requirement can result in costly penalties for your business. If your workers lack sufficient training, they are unlikely to know how to properly operate and maintain a lift as well. This increases the risk of aerial lift accidents., the leader in AWP training, offers comprehensive training and OSHA certification for aerial lifts, aerial scissor lifts, boom lifts, vertical scissor lifts, and much more. Our training answers key questions surrounding the scissor lift vs. aerial lift debate, including: 

1. What Is an Aerial Lift? 

OSHA’s aerial lift definition is the same as the one from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), which considers the following vehicle-mounted rotating and elevating platforms as aerial lifts:

  • – Vertical towers
  • – Aerial ladders
  • – Articulating boom platforms
  • – Any combination of the above

Aerial lifts, or boom lifts, are classified as vehicle-mounted devices used to elevate personnel. They can lift workers both vertically and horizontally to reach exterior building structures, windows, trees, and power lines. They can be articulated to reach up and over structures, as well as access the top of roller coasters. The difference between an aerial lift and a scissor lift is that scissor lifts can only extend horizontally, and do not have the same reach power. 

Think of aerial lifts as a more versatile elevated work platform. Aerial lifts, unlike aerial scissor lifts or vertical scissor lifts, are typically used outdoors. However, they’re also used in some indoor facilities, such as heavy equipment manufacturing centers. 

2. What Is a Scissor Lift

Scissor lifts do not fall within any of the above categories of aerial lifts, nor are there any OSHA provisions exclusive to scissor lifts. They do, however, meet the definition of a scaffold. Unfortunately, if you look at the general requirements for scaffolds (§1926.451), you won’t find scissor lifts mentioned. Anywhere on the page. Luckily, OSHA has made some improvements with their Scaffolding eTool. This page on the OSHA website makes it easier to understand what is a scissor lift and where it falls within the standards. It gives industry professionals some helpful background information on what makes a scissor lift, a scissor lift. 

According to OSHA, scissor lifts are “mobile supported scaffold work platforms used to safely move workers vertically and to different locations in a variety of industries including construction, retail, entertainment, and manufacturing.” Unlike aerial lifts, scissor lifts can only move vertically, directly above the base. It’s the recognizable criss-cross style beams that move the lift platform straight up and down. 

All scissor lifts are considered scaffolding, whether it’s a vertical scissor lift or aerial scissor lift. 

Additional differences between what is a scissor lift and an aerial lift are the use of fall protection. OSHA requires that operators use body harnesses and lanyards on aerial lifts at all times, but these personal protection tools aren’t requirements for scissor lifts. As long as there are functioning guardrails present, scissor lift operators don’t need to wear harnesses while on the platform. This applies to aerial scissor lifts and vertical scissor lifts. 

3. What Does OSHA Say About Aerial and Scissor Lifts

In September of 1999, a safety officer in Fredericktown, Ohio, wrote to OSHA with a simple question basically asking what is a scissor lift, and which OSHA standard covered scissor lifts with extendable platforms. The way OSHA responded to his letter may have you going around in circles, so just remember the stability triangle and you should be okay. Here goes. 

In 1997, OSHA issued Directive CPL 02-01-023, “Inspection procedures for Enforcing Subpart L, Scaffolds Used in Construction – 29 CFR 1926.450-454,” which, OSHA’s letter to the safety officer claims “erroneously stated that “scissor lifts are addressed by §1926.453,” which, just like the scaffolding document, makes no mention whatsoever of scissor lifts. That statement was then revoked by the very letter addressed to our man in Ohio, in which OSHA further declares that it is in the process of updating the 1997 Directive. The date of the letter was Aug. 1, 2000. 

In the words of Chandler Bing[1], “Could the OSHA regulations on scissor lifts be more confusing?” If understanding OSHA’s scissor lift rules were a prerequisite to getting certified, there could be a problem. 

Fortunately, CertifyMeOnline knows exactly how to train and certify scissor lift operators. Our training courses are for all AWP workers. If your employees need OSHA certification for any of the following work platforms, contact us today!

What Aerial Lift Certification Training Offers

Our training courses are for all AWP workers. We offer OSHA certification training for any of the following types of AWPs:

We at have made it our mission to understand all OSHA standards and regulations completely, and we want to share what we know with your team. Our scissor lift training program covers what is a scissor lift, how to operate the various types of scissor lifts, how to perform inspections, and how to recognize and avoid hazards. 

We cover all the necessary scissor lift topics to be 100% OSHA-compliant, including fall protection, stabilization, and positioning for scissor lifts. To ensure students retain the information they learn, our program is self-paced and can be reviewed at any time. However, it typically takes trainees only about one hour to complete. And once they’ve worked through all the modules and have passed all quizzes and tests, students can print their operator certification card. 

OSHA compliance is paramount. It’s illegal to have anyone operate a scissor lift or aerial lift without proper training. With, we’ll take care of all your training needs. Plus, with refresher training, affordable prices and lifetime support, you’ll enjoy an OSHA compliance partner for life! 

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Get Your Workers OSHA-Certified

Scissor lifts and aerial lifts can benefit businesses of all sizes and across many industries. Yet, there may be times when a scissor lift is a better choice than a standard aerial lift, or vice versa.  

Don’t be confused by scissor lifts and aerial lifts anymore. Your workers can learn from the number one online scissor lift training provider,, and become scissor lift and aerial lift experts. 

Check out our certification training options today. To learn more or enroll your workers in our certification training, contact us online or call us at 1-888-699-4800.

What Is OSHA, and What Does It Do?

what is oshaOSHA is a federal agency committed to fostering safe work environments across the United States. To better understand OSHA, let’s answer some of the key questions surrounding the agency.

What Is OSHA, and Why Is It Important?

Somewhere, at this very moment, someone in the United States is violating a safety procedure. It could be something minor, such as not wearing gloves during one final warehouse task. But, it could also be a significant safety mistake — for example, something like driving a forklift with bald tires.

Whenever workplace safety rules are ignored, the possibility exists for on-the-job accidents that can lead to property and personal damage, including severe injuries and even death. OSHA, the U.S. government’s regulatory body for determining workplace safety violations, is responsible for making sure that companies have their own safety plans in place to prevent these potential accidents and tragedies.

What Does OSHA Stand for?

OSHA stands for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Today, OSHA is led by Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor Loren Sweatt. It is part of the U.S. Department of Labor (USDL) and was officially created on Dec. 29, 1970 when President Richard Nixon signed the Occupational Safety and Health Act into law.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act, OSHA has a broad range of power in regards to workplace health and safety laws. The agency covers most private sector employers and their workers, along with various public sector employers and workers.

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What Is OSHA Doing to Improve Workplace Safety? 

OSHA has maintained an ongoing commitment to improve workplace safety at companies nationwide. Initially, OSHA was allowed to create regulations based on guidelines established by industry standards organizations. It has capitalized on its abililty to offer best practices, recommendations, and insights to help companies safeguard employees against industry-specific workplace hazards. 

Meanwhile, OSHA has been a key contributor to addressing workplace safety issues. Some of the agency’s aerial lift safety announcements over the past few years include:

2015 Requiring businesses to report work fatalities within eight hours and hospitalizations within 24 hours. 

2018 Requiring businesses to digitize information relating to on-the-job accidents, injuries, and illnesses. 

2019 Requiring businesses to take additional measures to protect sensitive employee data stored on computers, smartphones, and tablets. These measures were designed to safeguard worker data against cyberattacks. 

OSHA has offered resources to help U.S. businesses keep workers safe during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as well. Instructions that OSHA provided to businesses during the pandemic have included:

  • – Verify that any employees who display symptoms of COVID-19 stay home and get tested. If these workers are diagnosed with COVID-19, they should quarantine from others until they fully recover. And anyone who came into contact with infected workers should undergo testing as well. 
  • – Require employees to wear a face mask that covers the nose and mouth at all times. 
  • – Use floor markers and posters to promote social distancing at worksites. 
  • – Encourage employees to wash their hands with soap and water as often as possible throughout the work day. 
  • – Clean worksites frequently. 

OSHA works closely with industry organizations to develop and implement workplace safety guidelines. It recognizes businesses that do their part to promote workplace safety. And OSHA also penalizes businesses that violate its workplace safety requirements.

To date, OSHA has helped many U.S. businesses maintain safe and productive worksites. It continues to seek out ways to optimize workplace safety at companies of all sizes and across all industries. 

What Is the Purpose of OSHA?

In addition to understanding what is OSHA, it is paramount to recognize the agency’s purpose. 

OSHA’s mission is to “assure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance.” To accomplish this goal, OSHA supports private and public sector employers and workers in several areas, including:

Training and Certification

OSHA creates standards that require employers to teach workers how to safely perform daily tasks in a variety of industries.

Employer Assistance

OSHA is available to explain how employers can comply with safety mandates and keep their workers safe against on-the-job accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

Information for Workers

OSHA encourages workers to reach out to report unsafe work conditions; in the event that an employer ignores workers’ complaints about an unsafe work environment, OSHA can inspect a workplace and evaluate and address dangerous work practices.

Does My Business Need to Comply with OSHA Requirements?

U.S. businesses must comply with OSHA requirements. Failure to do so may result in OSHA penalties and fines, along with workplace accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Furthermore, OSHA penalties and fines may damage a business’ reputation, cause revenue losses, and make it difficult for a company to retain employees and customers.

Is OSHA Effective?

OSHA is effective as a workplace safety regulatory agency, but it can only do so much. Instead, employers must take action to ensure their workers understand best practices to maintain safe, productive workplaces.

Employers should follow OSHA guidelines and stay up to date on them. They can also provide workers with OSHA-approved training to help employees minimize risk day after day.

How Can My Business Comply with OSHA Requirements?

Employers should be proactive, particularly when it comes to workplace safety. By reaching out to OSHA and learning about its safety guidelines, any business can implement measures to limit risk and comply with federal guidelines.

Additionally, offers safety training courses for businesses that want to ensure their aerial lift workers comply with OSHA mandates. Our courses are intended for workers of all experience levels and make it simple to quickly become a certified aerial lift operator.

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Select CMO for OSHA-Compliant Aerial Lift Certification

Your business may have questions about what is OSHA and what the agency is all about. Fortunately, help is available to ensure your company and its employees operate in accordance with OSHA standards.  

For instance, CMO offers OSHA-approved aerial lift certification training. We ensure companies across the United States can provide their employees with seamless access to our online certification training courses. Thus, your workers can use our courses on their smartphones, tablets, and computers. They can then earn their OSHA aerial lift certification at their convenience. 

We are happy to provide additional details about our aerial lift certification safety training courses. To learn more or to sign up for one of our courses, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.

How to Operate a Scissor Lift

scissor lift

Scissor lifts are among the most popular aerial lifts, and for good reason. They feature an extendable platform and crisscross framework well-suited for construction, electrical work, building maintenance, and other industrial applications. In addition, scissor lifts are mobile and compact, and they offer a large, stable platform that is both safe and provides ample space.

There is a lot to like about scissor lifts. But, to realize their full benefits, it is crucial to teach workers how to operate a scissor lift.

What Is a Scissor Lift?

A scissor lift is a motorized vehicle with a platform that can be raised straight up. The lift has crisscrossing metal supports that extend as its platform is raised.

Scissor lifts are used by workers who need to repair tall buildings, clean gutters or windows, and perform other outdoor tasks at heights. They can also be used in warehouses and other indoor work environments.

A scissor lift tends to be smaller than comparable aerial lifts. Any worker who uses a scissor lift must receive proper safety training, too.

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How Is a Scissor Lift Powered?

Scissor lifts vary based on their power source. Common types of scissor lifts include:

  • • Hydraulic: Use a hydraulic liquid to power their lifting mechanism
  • • Pneumatic: Use air pressure to raise and lower the lift
  • • Diesel: Use diesel fuel
  • • Electric: Use an electric engine

Regardless of how a scissor lift is powered, lift operators must understand scissor lift controls to ensure that they can use their lift to safely perform day-to-day tasks.

Scissor Lift Controls

Common scissor lift controls include:

Lower-Neutral-Raise Switch: Used to raise or lower the platform

Off-Platform-Base Key Switch: Used to power the platform or activate the platform or base control

Emergency Stop Button: Used to disconnect power to the control circuit

Before using a scissor lift, an operator must activate the base control console. This requires the operator to pull out the emergency stop button from the base control unit and platform control unit. The operator must also turn the main power disconnect switch to the “on” position.

How to Move a Scissor Lift

To raise or lower a scissor lift’s platform, an operator must select the off-platform-base key switch and move it to the base position. Next, select the lower-neutral-raise switch and move it to the raise or lower position. When the operator has raised or lowered the platform to their desired height, he or she can release the lower-neutral-raise switch.

As the operator uses the scissor lift, he or she can leverage a removable control unit mounted at the front of the platform. This unit includes the following controls:

Lift-Drive-Steer Enable Trigger Switch: Must be held raise, lower, drive, or steer the lift

Lift-Drive-Steer Controller Joystick: Used to control raise, lower, drive, and steer motions

 Inclined Drive-Level Drive Switch: Accounts for slanted or level driving

Lift-Off-Drive Switch: Disconnects power from the lift and drive circuits

All scissor lift operators must receive in-depth training to ensure they can safely control a lift. This training offers insights into scissor lift controls and how to operate a scissor lift.

How to Operate a Scissor Lift: Do’s and Don’ts

Driving a scissor lift can be tricky, regardless of an operator’s experience. But, a clear understanding of scissor lift do’s and don’ts can help an operator avoid accidents. 

Here are common do’s and don’t for how to operate a scissor lift. 


Conduct an in-depth inspection. Verify that a scissor lift is in proper working order before using it. If any issues are identified, take the machine out of service. At this point, the lift should not be returned to service until it has been repaired by a qualified technician. 

Assess the work area. Keep an eye out for uneven terrain. Remember, a scissor lift can easily become unstable and tip over if an operator drives it too fast or turns too quickly while traveling over uneven terrain. Meanwhile, a scissor lift operator should watch for any other work area hazards as well. 

Maintain the lift’s guardrails. Check out the lift’s guardrails and if they are intact. If an operator intends to work outside the guardrails, he or she should always wear fall protection equipment. Otherwise, this operator risks falls that can result in serious injury or death. 

Travel at a safe speed. Watch for posted speed limits for scissor lifts at worksites. A scissor lift operator should always lower their lift’s basket before moving their machine as well. 

Use safety chains as needed. Utilize safety chains for any tools stored inside of a scissor lift’s basket. Because, if tools inadvertently fall out of a lift, they can put anyone beneath the machine in danger. 

Verify the lift’s load capacity. The load capacity for a scissor lift varies based on the model. Validate the lift’s load capacity before using the machine. 

Maintain a valid license. Scissor lift operators can earn OSHA certification at any time. This certification stays valid for up to three years and must be renewed to ensure an operator can legally drive a lift. 


Keep the gates open. Ensure the gates at the back of a scissor lift are always closed. 

Put ladders or step stools in the scissor lift’s basket. Avoid using ladders and step stools inside the lift’s basket. 

Climb or lean on the guardrails. Operators can use a lift’s guardrails to maintain balance inside the machine, but they should not climb or lean on them. 

Watch for inclement weather conditions. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. If the weather calls for heavy winds, rain, snow, or other harsh conditions, do not let workers operate scissor lifts. Instead, wait for the weather conditions to improve before allowing operators to use scissor lifts outdoors. 

Learning how to operate a scissor lift with safety top of mind is vital. If your employees are uncertain about how to move a scissor lift, they put themselves and others at risk of scissor lift accidents and injuries.

OSHA requires employers to teach workers how to operate a scissor lift. By offering scissor lift safety training classes, an employer can teach its workers the proper techniques and strategies for how to use a scissor lift.

Can Anyone Learn How to Drive a Scissor Lift?

how to operate a scissor liftOSHA requires scissor lift operators to complete a scissor lift training course that verifies they can safely and reliably drive a lift. As such, only an operator who has completed an OSHA-compliant safety training program should drive a scissor lift.

It is an employer’s responsibility to ensure that only OSHA-compliant operators use scissor lifts. In the event that an unauthorized worker uses a scissor lift, their employer could face OSHA fines and penalties. Even worse, the worker could inadvertently put himself or herself and others in danger.

One of the most important parts of learning how to operate a scissor lift is knowing what to do before starting a job. This applies to both new and experienced scissor lift operators.

Before raising a scissor lift, operators should:

– Ensure there are no drop-offs, holes, bumps, debris, and people around the worksite.

– Inspect the lift; this involves checking the lift’s operational and functional components with the power off, then with the power on.

– Ensure lift safety equipment is in place, including guardrails.

– Ensure anyone working on the lift wears a hard hat, rubber-soled shoes, gloves, and OSHA-mandated personal protective equipment (PPE).

– Ensure the operator is certified to operate the lift.

The aforementioned steps should be routine for all scissor lift operators, at all times. If operators follow these steps each time they use a scissor lift, they can further reduce the risk of associated on-the-job accidents and injuries.

Scissor Lift Operation: How to Move a Scissor Lift

When moving a scissor lift, operators should:

 Ensure the surface on which the scaffold is being moved is level.

✓ Confirm a manager is available to supervise the move.

 Ensure outrigger frames (when used) are installed on both sides of the lift.

 When required to move the lift, ensure a power system is applied directly to the wheels, with a speed of no more than 1 ft. per second.

 Ensure workers are not on any part of the scaffold that extends outward toward the wheels, casters, and other supports.

 Keep the lift at a height that is double the width of the base

 Apply manual force to move the scaffold as close to the base as possible and no higher than 5 ft. above the supporting surface.

 Ensure employees on or near the scissor lift are aware of the move.

If these requirements for safely moving a scissor lift cannot be met, workers must get down from the lift before they move it.

Tips for How to Drive a Scissor Lift

Here are seven tips for how to drive a scissor lift safely.

1. Focus on the Task at Hand

Scissor lift operators should focus exclusively on operating their lift to the best of their ability. They should follow all safety precautions, every time they use a lift.

2. Evaluate Your Lift

Assess a scissor lift before each use. If any problems are identified during an inspection, take the lift out of use until repairs are completed.

3. Follow the Capacity Limit

Do not exceed a scissor lift’s capacity limit. Account for the weight of the operator and any tools before using a scissor lift.

4. Use Your Lift on Level Ground

Avoid using a scissor lift on unstable ground. Otherwise, there is an increased risk that the lift could tip over.

5. Do Not Use Your Lift in Harsh Weather Conditions

Never use a scissor lift in heavy winds or other inclement weather conditions. If a storm makes it unsafe to operate a lift, wait until the storm passes.

6. Keep Your Lift Away from Other Equipment

When using a scissor lift, maintain as much space as possible from other equipment. This minimizes the risk of bumping into other equipment.

7. Be Proactive

Do not leave anything to chance when operating a scissor lift. If any hazards are identified or problems arise that hinder an operator’s ability to safely use a scissor lift, they must be addressed immediately.

Scissor Lift Hazards

Common causes of scissor lift accidents include tip-overs, collapses, and malfunctions. However, OSHA-certified scissor lift operators can take steps to reduce or eliminate hazards that otherwise contribute to these issues.

Ultimately, to safely use a scissor lift, operators must focus on the following areas:

1. Fall Protection

OSHA requires the use of a scissor lift harness and lanyard when there isn’t a working scissor lift guardrail system. Also, effective fall protection requires workers to check the guardrail system before they start a job.

Once in the air on a scissor lift, workers should remain on the platform. They must keep essential work items within easy reach from the platform as well.

2. Stability

Operators must ensure a scissor lift is stable. They should position the lift on a firm, level surface, keep the lift away from traffic, and work only in good weather conditions.

3. Positioning

Correctly positioning a scissor lift helps prevent tip-overs and other accidents. Operators should closely monitor fixed and moving objects close to the lift, keep an eye out for overhead objects like beams and door frames, and work on surfaces at least 10 ft. away from live power sources.

Furthermore, scissor lift operators must dedicate time, resources, and energy to identify and resolve safety hazards. With proper scissor lift safety training, operators can learn to detect hazards and address such issues before they cause accidents and injuries.

Scissor Lift Maintenance Tips

Consistent maintenance is a key factor in preventing scissor lift accidents and injuries. Scissor lift maintenance involves:

✓ Inspecting and testing lift controls and components before use

 Ensuring the lift’s guardrail system is in good working condition

 Ensuring the brakes are set and will hold the scissor lift in position

Scissor lift maintenance must be performed regularly. Otherwise, if a scissor lift does not work properly, the machine can put the operator and others in danger.

Why Is Scissor Lift Safety Training Important?

Only trained and certified workers should be allowed to operate a scissor lift. Fortunately, training programs are available to help workers quickly learn the ins and outs of scissor lift safety.

Employers are responsible for teaching workers to safely operate a scissor lift. The training they provide should include:

– Explanation of manufacturer’s instructions for operating a scissor lift vertically and in transit

– Information about how to handle materials on the lift

– Insights into worksite hazards

– Details on how to report any equipment defects or maintenance issues

There is no need to wait to offer scissor lift safety training. Because, if an employer offers scissor lift safety training to its workers today, it can provide its workforce with the insights it needs to operate a scissor lift without endangering themselves or others.

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Enroll Your Staff in Scissor Lift Certification Training 

Operating a scissor lift can be challenging. But your business can help its scissor lift operators perform a wide range of tasks at heights without putting themselves or others in danger. In fact, if you provide OSHA-approved aerial lift certification training, you can teach your employees about all aspects of scissor lift safety. provides a scissor lift safety training program that fulfills OSHA’s mandates, can be accessed online 24/7 from any device with an internet connection, and requires only about an hour to complete. To learn more or to sign up for our program, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.

Emergency Preparedness on the Job Site

Emergency Preparedness on the Job Site

Nature isn’t always kind to industrial jobsites. In fact, it can often be downright ugly. High winds, floods, fires, earthquakes, and tornadoes are just some of the natural disasters that can ruin a project. But, disasters can also be manmade. Examples of manmade disasters include toxic gas releases, chemical spills, and explosions.

Whether natural or manmade, disasters disrupt operations and put workers at risk. They can also have a huge financial impact on a business. That’s why emergency preparedness at work is key. Having an emergency plan in place lets workers know where to go and what to do when a disaster strikes. It also helps reduce the panic and confusion that occurs when a disaster hits. This allows everyone at a jobsite to think more clearly and respond in a logical manner.

What Is Emergency Preparedness at Work?

An emergency preparedness plan enables a business to determine the best course of action to deal with worst-case scenarios. The plan encompasses steps that a company can take to keep its employees safe. And, it defines roles for employees, ensuring appropriate actions are performed to manage risk. 

When it comes to emergency preparedness at work, it pays to err on the side of caution. This is especially true for businesses that have aerial lift operators on staff. Because, if an emergency strikes, aerial lift operators must be able to guard against tip-overs and other accidents. 

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Put Together an Emergency Preparedness Plan at Work 

A business must develop and maintain an emergency preparedness plan at work. With this plan in place, a company can verify that it can handle any emergencies that occur, regardless of when they happen. 

Ultimately, an emergency action plan outlines the actions employers and workers should take during fires and other emergencies. OSHA requires some employers to establish an emergency safety plan. These include companies that work with hazardous waste, toxic chemicals, and grain-handling facilities. Other companies are not required to have a plan. Even so, it’s always a good idea to have one as it helps protect your workers and your business.

Now, let’s look at what you can do to craft and maintain an effective plan for emergency preparedness at work

Identify potential disasters.

In order to prescribe proper safety measures, you first have to know what could happen. Is the area where you work prone to weather disasters, such as earthquakes, flooding or tornadoes? Does your business involve working with toxic chemicals or hazardous materials? Is the landscape in a high fire-risk area? Make a list of all possible disasters, even those with a small chance of happening. From here, you can establish emergency preparedness at work priorities.

✓ Prepare for the worst.

Next, create worst-case scenarios involving the disasters that could befall your business. If a tornado hit the jobsite, how much damage would it cause? If you suffered a toxic spill, how far would the danger zone extend? If a fire started, could it create other risks, such as explosions or lethal fumes. What are the worst injuries that could result from the disaster? Consider the worst-case scenarios, no matter how difficult it may be to do so. That way, you can ensure you’re prepared for any emergencies that come your way. 

✓ Establish an Emergency Plan

emergency preparedness plan for workplace

Now that you know what disasters could happen, the next step is to create an action plan to deal with them. The plan should:

-Assign actions and responsibilities to the right people

-Identify the lines of communication

-Provide guidelines for evacuation

-Identify safety measures for those who can’t evacuate

To get a complete picture of what could occur and how to respond to it, managers and workers should contribute during the planning phase. Together, both groups can identify what it takes to keep everyone safe at all stages of an emergency. 

✓ Train the troops.

There’s a reason schools and hospitals practice fire drills. Even though the fire isn’t real, it lets people practice what to do when it is. On the job site, workers should be trained on how to use emergency equipment. They should also know when and where to evacuate the site. For example, if people work on aerial lifts, they should know how to get down quickly. Practicing safety procedures is important because people are calmer when they know what to do. The higher the risk of a disaster, the more often you should practice the drills.

✓ Protect your data.

Employee safety always comes first. But don’t forget to safeguard your data. Industrial companies must keep volumes of data regarding plans, projects, permits, equipment, employees and much more. Some of this is in paper form. Some is in electronic form. Both types can be easily destroyed in a disaster.

To protect it, make a list of all the places you store critical data and back it up. If it’s paper, make copies and store in a different location. If it’s digital, make regular backups; at least once a week. Store the backups in a different location than your computer servers. These days, the easiest way to back up data is through a cloud service.

✓ Have ample insurance coverage.

Industrial companies should have three types of loss prevention coverage:

• Liability – In case employees or citizens get injured

• Property damage – In case your project and/or equipment get destroyed

• Negligence – To protect against lawsuits resulting from damage and/or injuries due to faulty work

Insurance can be expensive, but you can shop around for coverage. It often helps to discuss your business insurance requirements with insurance professionals. This allows you to ask questions regarding the different types of insurance, how they work, and their respective benefits. It also helps you get the appropriate coverage to ensure your business is protected if an emergency occurs. 

Remember, the cost of insurance is minimal compared to the damages you might have to pay from a major lawsuit. So, make sure your business is covered to the largest amount possible.

✓ Keep your emergency plan up to date.

Things change quickly in today’s world. New projects, new employees, new equipment – all present good reasons to review and update your disaster preparedness plan. 

Disasters often happen when we least expect it. Being prepared when it occurs can help minimize damage to your employees and equipment. And, it can hopefully prevent the loss of life.

Construction Emergency Preparedness Plan: What Is It, and Why Is It Important?

If you run a construction business, you need an emergency preparedness plan that accounts for cave-ins, fall arrest rescues, and other life-threatening situations. The plan requires your business to consider a variety of emergency factors, such as:

  • Administration of basic first aid
  • Evacuation and exit procedures and routes
  • Alarm systems
  • Reporting

Your construction workers must be prepared for emergencies, too. As such, you should provide your workers with sufficient emergency preparedness training. At this time, you can also offer aerial lift safety training, so your workers can operate lifts in accordance with OSHA standards. 

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Give Your Workers OSHA-Compliant Aerial Lift Safety Training 

Aerial lift safety and emergency preparedness training can go hand in hand. Both empower workers to do their part to limit risk across jobsites. Plus, they can help workers stop emergencies before they harm workers and employers. makes it simple to provide OSHA-approved aerial lift safety training to your workers. With our help, you can get your workers in compliance with OSHA aerial lift safety mandates in as little as one hour. 

To learn more about our aerial lift safety training program or to enroll your workers in it, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.