OSHA warns of hazards associated with scissor lifts

July 6, 2011

Washington – OSHA on July 6 issued a hazard alert on the dangers of using portable hydraulic scissor lifts to film events and functions.

The alert comes after the Indiana Department of Labor settled with the University of Notre Dame regarding the October 2010 death of a 20-year-old student who was filming football practice atop a scissor lift when it was blown over by high winds. Indiana OSHA said the student worker reportedly lacked training and raised the lift more than 39 feet in winds exceeding 50 mph.

According to the alert, hazards include using a lift in bad weather or on unstable ground, overloading it with heavy objects, and removing guardrails during operation.

OSHA recommends employers establish safe work practices, set the brakes and stabilize the lift before use, maintain a 10-foot clearance from electrical power sources, and train workers on using the equipment.