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OSHA Issues Lift Hazard Alert

Friday, July 8, 2011

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The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a hazard alert about the dangers of using scissor lifts to film events and functions.

The hazard alert lists dangers associated with the portable, hydraulic-powered lifts, such as using the equipment during high winds or bad weather; overloading the equipment with heavy objects; removing the guardrails during operation; and driving the lift on uneven or unstable ground.


 University of Notre Dame

The alert emphasizes proper training of operators and proper inspection and positioning of lifts.

The alert follows the death of Declan Sullivan, a University of Notre Dame student who was killed in October while filming a football practice from an extended scissor lift in high winds. Like other student employees, Sullivan had not been trained in lift use.

High schools and colleges commonly use scissor lifts to film athletic and other events.

Indiana OSHA cited Notre Dame for six serious safety violations. The university has paid a $42,000 fine and will launch a nationwide lift safety campaign for schools, colleges and other educational organizations that use the mobile lifts.

Lift Hazards

OSHA notes that lifts can pose hazards if:

• Used during bad weather or high winds;

• Positioned on soft or uneven ground, or on weak utility covers such as underground sprinkler valve boxes;

• Overloaded with heavy objects;

• Used with guardrails removed;

• Driven over uneven, unstable ground or over a surface in poor condition, with the lift elevated; or

• Used with brakes that are not properly set.

Electrocution is also a hazard, if the lift makes contact with electrical lines.

Safe lift practices include:

• Training workers and making sure they follow established safe work practices and manufacturers’ recommendations;

• Allowing only trained workers to use scissor lifts;

• Ensuring that the lift has a guardrail system;

• Testing inspecting and maintaining lifts according to the manufacturer’s recommendations; and

• Maintaining a 10-foot clearance from electrical power sources and overhead hazards such as tree branches.

Many scissor lifts are covered under OSHA’s scaffolding standard.


Tagged categories: Access; Health and safety; lift; OSHA; Scaffolding

Comment from jesse chasteen, (7/12/2011, 10:18 AM)

Never bypass deadman foot control.....

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