Scissor lifts are motorized devices that allow employees to work high above the ground. They are a form of scaffolding that is used mainly in construction and warehouses but is also used in manufacturing, advertising, and other industrial and commercial sectors.
Falls from scissor lifts can be fatal or can cause catastrophic injuries, including spinal cord damage, traumatic brain injury, and broken bones. Workers who are injured in a work-related fall from a scissor lift have the right to have all of their necessary medical surgeries, doctor visits, medical equipment, and medications paid for by the employer’s insurance carrier. Injured workers who are employees also have the right to be paid a significant portion of their lost wages. Families of workers killed in a scissor lift accident have the right to bring claims for death benefits.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) understands how dangerous scissor lifts can be. That is why they have strong recommendations for how employers should protect their employees who use scissor lifts. The core OSHA recommendations are:
- Train the workers. Employees should be educated on:
- How to move the lift up, down, and sideways
- What weight restrictions apply
- How to handle any problems that arise
- The manufacturer’s instruction manual
Only trained workers should operate the scissor lift. Operators should also have electrical training.
- Secure the workers. Scissor lifts should have secure guardrails. Employees should understand that they should never stand on the guardrails – just the platform.
- Stabilize the scissor lift. The lift shouldn’t move about when a worker is on it. The lift should electronically, and not manually, move to the correct height.
- Secure the scissor lift. Machinery, such as forklifts, should not be near the scissor lift so the lift is clear to move. Lifts should be on flat surfaces, not slopes or holes. The lifts shouldn’t be near any loose wires or anywhere an electrical spark can occur, such as power lines. Proper grounding guidelines should be met. The lifts should not be able to pin a worker against a wall or other equipment.
- Prepare for bad weather. When lifts are used outdoors, due consideration should be given to rain, snow, ice, and poor visibility. Generally, lifts should not be used when the wind speed is too high.
- Maintain the scissor lift. The lifts should be routinely inspected and repaired according to the manufacturer guidelines. The lift should never be used until the necessary repairs have been made.
Injured employees are not required to prove that the employer was negligent. Safety tips help prevent injuries, but if an accident happens, for any reason, an employee is entitled to Pennsylvania workers’ compensation benefits. At Larry Pitt & Associates, we have a strong track record of success in getting injured workers their full work loss benefits. Our Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorneys are experienced litigators. For help now, please call 888.PITT.LAW or complete our contact form to review your claim. We represent injured workers and the families of workers tragically killed throughout the state including Philadelphia, Bucks, Montgomery Chester, Delaware, and Berks Counties.