Category Archives: Scissor Lift Training

A Comprehensive Guide to Warehouse Safety

Staying in compliance with OSHA regulations means avoiding expensive penalties and fines. Compliance also helps foster a safe work environment. When it comes to warehouse safety, following industry best practices can keep employees safe and productive. Fail to live up to such guidelines and your warehouse can quickly become a dangerous place to work. If you’re hoping to up the safety standards in your warehouse, allow CertifyMeOnline to be your guide.

Why Warehouse Safety Matters

osha guidelines for warehousesThere are more than 20,000 warehouses in the United States employing more than eight million workers, and these figures continue to increase. The rate of fatal injuries due to accidents in the warehouse industry is higher than the national average for all industries as well. These statistics speak volumes about why warehouse safety matters.

OSHA is responsible for the implementation of warehouse health and safety guidelines in the USA. This agency has the power to levy fines as high as $30,000 to employers for willful or repeated violations of OSHA guidelines for warehouses.

When it comes to being compliant and preventing accidents in your warehouse, you need to take certain precautions and follow our tips for OSHA warehouse safety. OSHA’s general warehouse rules and regulations are a big part of this learning and training process. Since OSHA warehouse regulations constantly change – updated rules and regulations are common with OSHA – you need a training program that’ll keep you on top of OSHA warehouse regulations and safety guidelines. Remember, CMO’s training and certification courses automatically include any updates to OSHA guidelines for warehouses. Our classes are created by people with decades of experience dealing with OSHA warehouse safety, guidelines & regulations and much more!

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Warehouse Safety Hazards

Warehouse safety relies on workers being aware of their surroundings and being prepared to respond to hazards that arise. OSHA warehouse rules and regulations address the varying dangers that can affect the safety of workers. Here are a few of the most common hazards faced by warehouse employees:

✓ Slips, Trips, and Falls

Forklifts, slips and falls, and falling objects are among the most prominent hazards in warehouses. Each is associated with thousands of injuries and fatalities every year but may be prevented. Slips and falls are high-occurring hazards in warehouses that cause major injuries. Unsafe areas in a warehouse can contribute to slips and falls, but they often result from workers not having the proper training.

✓ Falling Objects

A falling object from aerial lifts and shelves in warehouses is another prominent warehouse hazard. Falling objects can seriously injure or kill workers when they aren’t properly cared for on a forklift or haven’t been properly handled and stacked.

✓ Repetitive Motion Injuries

 Repetitive motion injuries from lifting, reaching, pushing, and pulling inside of a warehouse are often the result of poor ergonomics. Training can teach workers how to properly handle tasks on the job and avoid strenuous activities.

✓ Inadequate Fire Safety Provisions

Various operational practices along with proper worker safety equipment can help prevent fire-related accidents and injuries.

✓ Improper Product Stacking

Stacking products improperly in a warehouse can affect the efficiency of a warehouse and put workers at risk. Improper product stacking can lead to unstable products that become crushing hazards, too.

✓ Failure to use Protective Clothing and Equipment

Personal protective clothing and equipment protects workers from many types of hazards, including respiratory, impact, and crushing hazards. One of the most commonly cited violations in warehouses is the lack of respiratory protection for workers.

There are many different aspects of OSHA warehouse health and safety guidelines. Some OSHA regulations directly impact warehouse operations. The key is to find a training partner that keeps you ahead of the curve with OSHA warehouse safety guidelines.

OSHA Warehouse Safety Regulations

A look into OSHA warehouse safety regulations can help shed light on the kinds of standards that warehouse teams must live up to. A list of the most common safety violations offers unique insight into the challenges faced by warehouse workers:

Hazard Communication

This standard addresses chemical hazards and the communication of these hazards to workers. By clearly identifying the hazards nearby, signage can help workers avoid injury while staying in compliance with OSHA warehouse regulations.

Electrical Wiring Methods

The standard covers the grounding of electrical equipment, wiring, and insulation. It includes temporary wiring and splicing.

Electrical System Design

This covers the general safety requirements for designing electrical systems. Given how dangerous improperly installed electrical systems can be, this is one OSHA safety rule that should not be overlooked.

Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes

Properly protecting workers from hazards from floor and wall openings and holes is what this standard addresses. When not informed of possible hazards, workers may forget about openings and fall through.


This standard addresses the importance of establishing exits for workers in the case of an emergency. Clearly labeled exit doors can help warehouse employees stay in compliance with OSHA warehouse safety recommendations.

Respiratory Protection

The respiratory protection standard addresses the establishment or maintenance of respiratory protection problems. This is a critical safety aspect in regards to OSHA guidelines for warehouses.


This standard outlines the minimum performance requirements for the control of hazardous energy during servicing and maintenance of machines and equipment.

Portable Fire Extinguishers

The requirements of this section apply to the placement, use, maintenance, and testing of portable fire extinguishers. While these warehouse safety recommendations might seem like common sense, they can be a real life saver to employees.

Emergency Management

OSHA warehouse regulations require all employers to have a crisis plan in place for all emergencies. You never know when disaster may strike. One of the smartest warehouse safety tips is to have an actionable, easy to follow emergency plan ready to go. Have a warehouse safety checklist easily accessible for any situation that endangers employees. This includes everything from fire & electrical hazards to severe weather protocols and more. For more information, check out CMO’s article on this subject.

For more information on each of the areas of OSHA warehouse regulations, the various hazards associated with each, and how to avoid them, read OSHA’s Worker Safety Series Warehousing guide.

Warehouse Safety PPE

Employers are responsible for providing warehouse workers with appropriate PPE based on worksite hazards. Because PPE is so instrumental to warehouse safety, it can’t be overlooked. Protective equipment that may be required at a jobsite include:

warehouse safety tips Eye and Face Protection

Safety glasses and other eye and face protection is crucial for warehouse workers who perform tasks in which foreign objects can get into the eyes or strike the face. Proper eye protection is required for employees who work with concrete or harmful chemicals or are exposed to electrical hazards as well.

– Foot Protection

Shoes or boots with slip- and puncture-resistant soles are critical for many warehouse workers. They can also help these workers minimize the risk of crushed toes due to falling objects or heavy equipment. 

– Hand Protection

Work gloves should be worn based on the task; for instance, insulated gloves and sleeves are necessary for warehouse workers who face electrical dangers. While warehouse health and safety guidelines like this might seem like overkill, proper PPE can truly save lives.

– Head Protection

Hard hats are required for warehouse workers who are exposed to falling objects, bumps to the head caused by fixed objects, or electrical hazards.

– Hearing Protection

Earplugs or earmuffs are vital for warehouse workers who are exposed to loud noises. Warehouse safety rules have to factor in all aspects of worker health, which is why hearing protection isn’t neglected in OSHA’s recommendations. 

– Respiratory Protection

Respirators safeguard warehouse workers against toxic substances, and they are necessary in workspaces where there is insufficient oxygen or dangerous substances are present in the air.

In addition to supplying appropriate PPE, employers must ensure that warehouse workers understand how to use this equipment and wear their protective equipment when they complete everyday tasks. That way, employers can comply with OSHA warehouse rules and regulations, as well as minimize the risk of on-the-job accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

Meeting Warehouse Safety Standards

If you’re eager to stay in compliance with OSHA warehouse regulations, be sure to follow these recommendations:

Make Preventative Maintenance a Priority

Lifts should be inspected daily for any condition that might adversely affect the safety of the vehicle. Vehicles should be clean and free from grease, lint, or excess oil. If at any time a powered industrial truck is found to be in need of repair or in any way unsafe, it should be removed from service immediately.

Ensure Workers are Adequately Trained

All aerial lift and scissor lift operators should be trained, evaluated and certified to ensure they can safely operate the equipment. No one under the age of 18 should be allowed to drive an aerial lift or scissor lift truck. This is one warehouse safety rule that should never be violated, as the outcomes can be deadly.

Mitigate Hazards When Possible

Warehouse floors, surfaces, and aisles must be free of debris, clutter, hoses, electrical cords, spills, and other materials that can cause falls, slips, and trips. Encourage proper ergonomics for all workers, including MEWP & aerial lift operators. Poor ergonomics are a leading cause of injuries on the job, and OSHA’s guidelines for warehouses address different ways to improve ergonomics.

Prioritize a Culture of Safety

Guardrails must be provided for exposed or open loading dock doors and other areas that can cause workers to fall 4 ft. or more. All facilities must have proper lockout/tagout procedures. By taking a proactive approach to OSHA warehouse regulations, employees can help promote a safer work environment for everyone.

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Make Warehouse Safety a Priority with CMO

If you and your team are eager to make warehouse safety a true priority, consider partnering with We can assist with the training and certification your workers need to perform their duties in accordance with OSHA warehouse regulations. Our course catalog is robust, with offerings for experienced and inexperienced operators alike. Our Train the Trainer class, for instance, is great for organizations looking to bring future safety trainings in-house. Fall Protection courses are available in both English and Spanish, allowing learners of all backgrounds to discover safety best practices. Best of all, most of CMO’s courses can be completed in the span of an afternoon. 

Each of our course offerings provides your organization with the OSHA warehouse safety training necessary to keep your workplace accident and injury-free. To learn more or to enroll your employees in our certification training program, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615. CMO looks forward to getting your company OSHA compliant.

How to Operate a Scissor Lift Safely

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. They are mobile, compact, and offer a large, stable platform that is both safe and provides ample space. Scissor lifts tend to be smaller than other types of aerial lifts, too. Any worker who uses a scissor lift must receive proper safety training.

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.

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

Scissor lift controls can be tricky, regardless of an operator’s experience. 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. Part of learning how to operate a scissor lift comes down to thorough reviews of the machinery before you even turn it on. 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. Experts who know how to use a scissor lift will tell you just how vital it is to check that a lift’s guardrails 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. Much of learning how to drive a scissor lift boils down to understanding your load capacity limitations. This 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. 

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how to operate a scissor 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.

Tips for How to Drive a Scissor Lift

If you’re just learning how to drive a scissor lift, follow these tips to make the process as safe and easy as possible:

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. Always pay close attention to scissor lift controls if you’re hoping to avoid an accident.

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

Much of learning how to operate a scissor lift comes down to understanding your limitations as an operator. 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

Curious about how to use a scissor lift in a storm? In most cases, it’s a bad idea. 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 learning how to drive 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.

8. Make Maintenance a Priority

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

9. Be Mindful of 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 fall protection, stability, and positioning.

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.

Scissor Lift Operation: How to Move a Scissor Lift

Knowing how to move a scissor lift comes with a lot of practice. As you get your handle on how to achieve this, make sure the surface is level first. Confirm a manager is available to oversee the move, then make sure outrigger frames are installed on both sides of the scissor lift. 

Next, you’ll want to ensure a power system is being applied directly to the wheels. Avoid moving more than one foot per second. Workers should not be on any part of the scaffold that extends towards the casters, wheels or other supports. Keep the lift at a height that’s double the width of the base and apply manual force to move it as close to the base as possible. You want it to be no higher than five feet about the supporting surface.

Always be sure employees on or near the scissor lift are made aware of the move. If any of these requirements can’t be met, workers should get down before the lift is moved.

Can Anyone Learn How to Drive a Scissor Lift?

Learning how to operate a scissor lift is easier than you might expect. Still, there are certain requirements you must meet before you begin using them. OSHA 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.

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Learn How to Operate a Scissor Lift Today

Only those trained and certified are allowed to operate a scissor lift. Thankfully, there are training programs available to help workers quickly learn how to drive a scissor lift. Employers are responsible for the training process, and each course should include:

  • An explanation of manufacturer’s instructions vertically and in transit
  • Details about how best to handle materials
  • Information about worksite hazards
  • Additional details on how to report equipment issues

There’s no need to delay in scissor lift training. If you’re hoping to train your employees as soon as possible, you can start today. offers 24/7 online training for how to operate a scissor lift. Comply with OSHA regulations and get your employees up to speed in a single afternoon. To learn more or to sign up for our program, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.

How Scissor Lifts vs. Aerials Lifts Match Up

Ever wondered about the differences between scissor lifts vs. aerial lifts? Both types of forklifts are essential to the modern construction and logistics industries. The key difference between these lifts lies in their functionality. 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.

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

Aerial lifts and aerial scissor lifts are more alike than they are different. Even aerial work platform workers often fail to understand what makes each piece of equipment unique. Ultimately, the differences between scissor lifts vs. aerial lifts come down to OSHA definitions. 

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. Aerial lifts are frequently used for construction, maintenance, by those working on power or phone lines, while fighting fires in tall structures, for window washing, during safety inspections, and for orchard and tree care.

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. Professionals rely on scissor lifts to repair signs, clean gutters, provide safe access to high shelves, and for routine maintenance chores

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. 

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. 

What is a Scissor Lift?

Just what is a scissor lift, exactly? They 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.

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

Why Use a Scissor Lift vs. an Aerial Lift?

Both of these unique tools come with their own pros and cons. Scissor lifts are simple to use and easy to move from one location to the next. They’re also easy to operate and can be used in diverse work environments – including the outdoors. Scissor lifts have bigger platforms, allowing more than one person to safely work on the lift at the same time. They’re cheaper than aerial lifts and are easier to store.

Aerial lifts, on the other hand, can reach up and around structures to access even the most difficult of areas. They can work at heights of 180 feet or greater. They allow workers to perform their duties safely, even on rough or uneven terrain. Small platforms mean operators can work in tight areas, and the ability to extend long distances horizontally allows for even more versatility. 

The Importance of Aerial Lift and Scissor Lift Safety

Perhaps the most important difference in scissor lifts vs. aerial lifts is their operation. Each lift has unique safety standards that operators must follow in order to prevent accidents. A little education can go a long way in keeping workers safe on the job.

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! 

Training for Scissor Lifts vs. Aerial Lifts

Regardless of whether you’re using aerial or scissor lifts on the job, it’s important to pursue the appropriate safety training. Failure to do so could put worker safety at risk and lead to expensive fines for your organization. Protect workers and your business with professional training via Our convenient online training makes it fast and easy to get in compliance with OSHA regulations – and it costs less than you might expect. Have questions about our offerings? Click here to contact us online or give us a call at (602) 277-0615

When to Use a Scissor Lift Harness

scissor lift harnessIf you require your workers to use a scissor lift, you should provide them with harnesses. A scissor lift harness can protect your lift operators against accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Plus, it can help you comply with OSHA scissor lift safety requirements. Let’s not forget about how harnesses can prevent serious falls from scissor lifts, either.

In order to get the most value out of scissor lift harnesses, you need to teach workers how to use them correctly. This ensures workers can wear harnesses on scissor lifts and avoid falls., the leader in training & certification for aerial lifts, scissor lifts, aerial work platforms (AWPs) and other mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs), provides OSHA compliant Fall Protection Training as part of our complete line of aerial lift training courses

Register your company today and get your workers certified! It’s not only the law, but training & certification ensures your company is covered in case of an OSHA audit or investigation.

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OSHA Prioritizes Scissor Lift Fall Protection

Falls are the leading cause of death in the construction industry, OSHA reports. They’re also one of OSHA’s top 10 most serious safety violations.

OSHA usually requires construction companies to install a fall protection system, like a harness and lanyard, any time a fall of 6 feet or more is possible.

You’re responsible for providing scissor lift fall protection accessories, including safety harnesses, personal protective equipment and related accessories. When your employees know their safety is accounted for, the result is a happier, more productive workplace…a win-win for everyone involved!

The Scissor Lift Harness Debate: Here’s What You Need to Know

The debate about when to use a fall protection harness on a scissor lift is ongoing, and chances are, it isn’t going away any time soon. In this debate, scissor lift operators are often caught in the middle between safety and efficiency. One reason for the debate with scissor lift workers involves working height. Aerial lifts, boom lifts and other non-scissor lifts reach significantly higher than scissor lifts, so a safety harness is easier to justify. But remember, OSHA designates any working surface higher than 6 feet as a potential fall hazard.

Many scissor lift operators wonder if they need a harness on a scissor lift. Some say they need a harness to be safe. Others say a harness is unnecessary. So, which is it? To find out, let’s take a closer look at all aspects of the scissor lift harness debate.

What Is a Safety Harness, and Why Is It Important?

Scissor lift harnesses don’t prevent falls — their job is to stop a fall when it occurs. They’re also designed to limit the forces on the body when a fall is arrested. They do this by using a system of straps and buckles to distribute forces to parts of the body that can best absorb them.

Harnesses also help workers stay upright during a fall, which allows a deceleration device to properly deploy. The deceleration device keeps the spine vertical, so it can absorb the force of the fall. However, this cuts off circulation to parts of the body and can cause blood to pool in the legs.

Safety Harnesses: What Are OSHA Scissor Lift Requirements?

One of the most common questions we receive at CMO is: “Do I need a harness in a scissor lift?” OSHA does not require harnesses or lanyards for scissor lift workers. However, certain jurisdictions, companies and job sites require wearing a harness in scissor lift. This contradiction of sorts sits at the core of the scissor lift fall protection debate, which is summarized by two key points:

1. Employers and workers want to adhere to safety regulations. They also want to prevent accidents.

2. Having scissor lift workers wear a personal fall restraint system (PFRS) is cumbersome and inefficient. It can interfere with their work and may be unnecessary.

So, do you need to wear a harness on a scissor lift? The answer depends on local safety standards and jobsite requirements. To better understand scissor lift harness guidelines, let’s review OSHA’s fall protection standards for aerial work platforms (AWPs).

Pros and Cons of Wearing an OSHA Safety Harness

wearing harness in scissor liftScissor lift operators are subject to fall hazards, due to the fact that they perform tasks at heights. Thanks to an OSHA safety harness, these operators are well-equipped to avoid falls when they perform everyday tasks. Safety harnesses can help reduce the number of scissor lift operator falls, along with associated accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Wearing a harness in a scissor lift is one way your company can reduce the chance of falls and related accidents. 

Clearly, there are many reasons to wear a safety harness when operating a scissor lift. On the other hand, it is important to note that there may be some problems that can occur if scissor lift operators wear harnesses when they complete everyday tasks.

For instance, if a scissor lift operator is wearing a harness and goes over a lift’s guardrail, they could accidentally cause a tip-over; that is bad enough for the platform worker, but this type of accident also jeopardizes nearby workers, pedestrians and anyone else in the job site vicinity. 

Along with using the aforementioned argument, those who are against requiring scissor lift operators to wear safety harnesses may point out that scissor lift manufacturers frequently do not provide an anchor point that operators can use to connect a snap hook to a lanyard. They may also note that OSHA prohibits tying off a harness to a guardrail.

Ultimately, the pros of wearing an OSHA safety harness on a scissor lift far exceeds the cons associated with doing so. If scissor lift operators consistently wear a safety harness while they work at heights, they can effectively protect themselves against falls.

Harness and Fall Protection Standards for Aerial Lifts

OSHA provides general guidelines for AWP workers. It has also created detailed guidelines for the construction industry, and OSHA’s Fall Protection Construction Standards and Resources lay out a comprehensive set of rules for construction workers who use aerial lifts.

According to OSHA, scissor lifts aren’t considered aerial lifts because the work platform for a scissor lift doesn’t extend beyond the wheelbase. Instead, scissor lifts are considered scaffolding. This gives workers more flexibility than other aerial lift operators. Plus, most scissor lifts don’t extend as high as AWPs. This is one of the most important OSHA scissor lift harness requirements to keep in mind.

Scissor Lift Fall Protection Requirements

While OSHA does not require scissor lift workers to wear a harness or other PFRS, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. After all, there are many hazards associated with scissor lift use. That’s one reason OSHA requires scissor lifts to have guardrail systems, and also why it’s an important part of fall protection for every type of scaffolding, scissor lift or aerial lift.

A guardrail is one of the most important types of scissor lift fall protection. Why aren’t scissor lift workers required by law to wear a scissor lift harness? The answer: existing safety rules.

According to OSHA guidelines, all scissor lift operators should:

Ensure a guardrail system is in place and stable before working. If you’re not sure your guardrails are safe, notify your supervisor immediately.

Position the scissor lift so it won’t move away from the work platform.

Stand on the work platform — not the guardrails — at all times. Use caution when approaching the guardrails, and make sure you never lean over the guardrails to perform work; always move the base of the scissor lift to accommodate a different configuration.

Keep a firm stance with both feet on the platform floor.

OSHA has established the aforementioned guidelines for scissor lift operators, but some job sites might require the use of a PFRS or scissor lift harness. If you are required to wear a harness for any type of scissor lift operation, abide by the local laws and regulations. OSHA doesn’t make “blanket” guidelines for scissor lift workers. But failing to adhere to onsite safety rules can still result in penalties and fines.

Do I Need a Harness in a Scissor Lift?

While OSHA doesn’t require the use of a safety harness on a scissor lift (scaffolding), certain scenarios may require the use of one. Scissor lift fall protection with harnesses may be necessary, depending on external factors. There are many reasons why scissor lift workers need to wear a harness and attached lanyard, such as:

No guardrail system is in place.

The guardrail is insufficient.

 The worker has left the work platform.

If there’s an adequate guardrail system in place, scissor lift workers don’t need a harness. However, if the guardrail system is insufficient, additional fall protection is needed.

For those who have access to a guardrail system and wear a harness, that’s great, since it’s always better to go the extra mile with your scissor lift fall protection measures. In this instance, the scissor lift fall protection harness provides that extra measure of protection to avoid falls. 

How to Wear a Scissor Lift Safety Harness

Workers must receive proper training to ensure they can wear a scissor lift safety harness correctly. The training teaches workers how to take a harness on and off. It also explains why it is paramount to wear a harness any time they use a scissor lift. CMO’s Fall Protection Training offers a comprehensive overview and OSHA compliant instruction regarding scissor lift harnesses

Meanwhile, if a scissor lift comes with attachment points, contact the manufacturer for information about when and how to use the tie-off points. You’ll learn about this and much more if you enroll in our OSHA scissor lift harness requirements training program!

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Sign Up for Fall Protection Certification Training Today! offers OSHA-compliant scissor lift, aerial lift, and AWP safety training, including fall protection classes. With our classes, you can become an expert in elevated work platform (EWP) harness requirements and scissor lift fall protection. To learn more or to sign up for one of our safety training classes, please contact us online or call us today at (602) 277-0615.

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.