New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers: Scissor Lift Safety

Scissor lifts are portable, hydraulic-powered platforms that can be raised into the air directly above the base. They are used to raise workers to heights that wouldn’t be accessible otherwise. The platform—a large work area known as a “scissor lift table”—is attached to a moving piece of equipment. Scissor lifts don’t go as high as boom lifts, but they offer a larger workspace. They are used in a variety of workplaces, including construction, maintenance, industrial, film, retail and warehouse environments.


Recently, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) conducted an investigation into the injuries and fatalities caused by scissor lifts. OSHA found that three factors were common to most accidents: stabilization, fall protection and positioning. Specifically, scissor lifts are prone to the following hazards:

  • Falling over if used in high winds
  • Falling if positioned on soft or uneven ground
  • Falling if overloaded with heavy objects
  • Becoming slippery in the rain, causing workers to slide off the platform
  • Workers may be electrocuted if the lift comes into contact with power lines
  • Tipping if driven with the lift in an elevated position
  • Tipping if used with brakes that are not properly set
  • Workers may slip off if guardrails are removed

In response to the findings of its investigation, OSHA has released some safety tips for anyone who works on or around scissor lifts:

  • Inspect controls and components before use
  • Make sure no other equipment will come into contact with the lift
  • Select work locations with firm and level surfaces
  • Check surfaces for slopes, drop-offs, holes, bumps, ground obstructions and debris
  • Monitor weather conditions (especially wind) and do not use a scissor lift in inclement weather
  • Use guardrails at all times
  • Stay at least 10 feet from power sources (e.g., power lines and transformers)
  • Avoid overhead hazards, such as branches and overhangs
  • Limit sudden movements while on the platform
  • Be alert while in the vicinity of an operating scissor lift
  • Don’t overload the lift
  • Always set the brakes before raising the lift
  • Report any problems and malfunctions to a supervisor or safety officer
  • Test and maintain according to the manufacturers instructions

Although employees should always be vigilant and cautious, it is an employer’s responsibility to maintain a safe work environment. Workers have the right to receive information and training about workplace hazards, how to prevent them, and the OSHA standards that apply to their workplace. Workers also are entitled to file a complaint asking OSHA to inspect their workplace if they suspect that their employer is not complying with OSHA’s regulations. In addition to filing a claim with OSHA, injured workers may be entitled to lost wages and medical expenses through Workers’ Compensation—a no-fault insurance program available to almost all New Jersey workers.


New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Shebell & Shebell Get Compensation For Victims of Scissor Lift Accidents

The dedicated lawyers at Shebell & Shebell have been fighting for injured workers for over eighty years. We have a successful track record of getting maximum compensation for victims of industrial equipment accidents. For a free consultation, call us at 732-532-2011 or contact us online today. We represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Ocean County, including Howell, Freehold, Middletown, Shrewsbury, Wall, Keansburg, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Union Beach and Neptune.