Real Estate

The Risks of Scissor Lifts and Other Aerial Lifts

Seeking the source of this Article from (Feb. 28, 2023) Seattle Times business News

Aerial lifts are a crucial component of many industrial and construction operations, providing a safe and efficient way to reach high places and work at elevated heights. However, working at heights poses inherent dangers and risks, and aerial lifts are no exception. Among the most common types of aerial lifts are scissor lifts, which are often used for maintenance and construction tasks both indoors and outdoors. While scissor lifts and other aerial lifts are valuable tools, it’s essential to be aware of their potential risks and the best practices for safety.

The Risks of Scissor Lifts and Other Aerial Lifts

Working at height is a high-risk activity, and accidents involving aerial lifts can have severe consequences. Falls from height remain one of the leading causes of workplace injuries and fatalities, and aerial lifts account for a significant proportion of these accidents. Common types of accidents involving scissor lifts and other aerial lifts include tip-overs, falls from height, and equipment malfunctions.

Tip-overs are a significant risk associated with scissor lifts and other aerial lifts. Tip-overs can occur when the lift’s center of gravity is shifted, causing it to tip over. This can happen due to uneven terrain, overloaded platforms, or improper use of the lift. When a scissor lift or other aerial lift tips over, the consequences can be severe, including injuries or fatalities to the operator or anyone in the vicinity.

Falls from height are another common type of accident involving aerial lifts. This can happen when operators are not adequately secured or when they lean too far outside of the platform’s boundaries. Falls from height can result in severe injuries or fatalities, making fall prevention a top priority when working with aerial lifts.

Equipment malfunctions are also a risk associated with scissor lifts and other aerial lifts. Malfunctions can be caused by equipment defects, improper maintenance, or operator error. Any malfunction can cause an accident, making it crucial to ensure that aerial lifts are well-maintained and operators are adequately trained.

Best Practices for Aerial Lift Safety

To minimize the risks associated with scissor lifts and other aerial lifts, it’s essential to follow best practices for safety.

Here are some of the most crucial safety practices to follow when working with aerial lifts:

  1. Proper training: All aerial lift operators should receive comprehensive training on safe operation, maintenance, and emergency procedures.
  2. Adequate inspection and maintenance: Aerial lifts should undergo regular inspections and maintenance to ensure that they are in good working order and free from defects.
  3. Use proper safety equipment: Operators should wear appropriate personal protective equipment, including harnesses and safety belts, to prevent falls from height.
  4. Keep the lift stable: Operators should ensure that the lift is on level ground and that all four outriggers are securely in place before raising the platform.
  5. Maintain clearances: Operators should maintain proper clearance from electrical wires, obstacles, and other hazards.
  6. Use caution when moving: Operators should move the lift slowly and cautiously, avoiding sudden movements that could cause the lift to tip over.
  7. Follow manufacturer guidelines: Operators should follow all manufacturer guidelines for the safe operation of the lift.

If Injured, You Need a Good Attorney Who Specializes in Aerial Lift Litigation, and You Need an Aerial Lift Expert Witness

Despite following best practices, accidents can still happen, and when they do, the consequences can be severe. In the event of an accident involving an aerial lift, it’s essential to seek legal representation from an attorney who specializes in aerial lift litigation. These attorneys have experience handling cases involving aerial lifts and can provide the legal guidance necessary to navigate the complexities of these cases.