scissor lift can avoid a lot of accidents
An accident involving your scissor lift or aerial work platform could have serious effects on your business, whether you own the platform or are renting it. According to the IPAF accident database, there have been 17 fatal accidents involving aerial work platforms (AWPs) in the first six months of this year alone. The causes of these incidents included operators becoming trapped, electrocuted or falling from a platform, or the machine itself having mechanical problems or overturning. Three of these involved scissor lifts, and six involved boom lifts. Many non-fatal accidents also occur each year within the powered access industry, and these are often caused by the same reasons: misuse and the flouting of safety guidelines. It's important, therefore, to adhere to health and safety instructions and obtain up to date powered access training before using a work platform or lift.
An accident with your scissor lift, boom lift or cherry picker could cost you your business. Not only does careless use put operators at risk, but it also runs the risk of serious legal ramifications if an incident occurs that could have been avoided. The Health and safety Executive (HSE) has the capacity to prosecute over such an accident, and if you are held responsible for it, your company could be investigated and taken to court.
Avoiding scissor lift accidents can save you money, prevent the serious emotional trauma connected with a fall or injury at work, and protect the reputation of your business. Most incidents can be prevented simply by acquiring the appropriate powered access training and accreditation from a powered access training facility. PAL and PAL+ courses should provide you with everything you need to know to set up, operate and pack away your scissor lift or AWP. General safety guidelines for proper practice can be found at the IPAF website. Short cuts are often when accidents happen - don't take the risk of saving time over keeping your operatives safe.
Regular inspections of your powered access machinery is essential to keep it working properly, and service and maintenance contracts are usually available from powered access providers. By law, your scissor lift must be inspected at least once every six months. If you are buying a used scissor lift, ensure that it has been fully refurbished by professional powered access engineers, and that it comes with a warranty.
Ground assessments and risk assessments are another important aspect of safe aerial platform use, and should be carried out at every working site and situation. Load capacity should not be exceeded on a work platform, and operators should never lean over or climb on guardrails. Safety accessories like helmets, high visibility jackets and harnesses should be used at all times to keep operators safe while they are working at height.
IPAF's 2012 safety pledge is committed to collecting data from powered access users to determine ways to make aerial work platform use even safer. You can report an accident to the IPAF Accident Database confidentially.