What are scissor lifts?
Scissor lifts are one of the most common and versatile types of aerial working platforms. The working parts that serve to elevate the platform from which work will be carried out contain interlocking pieces. The scissor lift is raised by applying hydraulic, pneumatic or mechanical pressure to the outside of the lowest supports. This causes the supports to straighten out and raise the platform. While scissor lifts may not have the extensive reach of a boom, they can, depending on the lift reach up to 17 metres.
Scissor lift training requirements
The health and safety legislation in the UK dictates that anyone working a scissor or boom lift must benefit from having undertaken and passed a training course in their safe operation. In the UK IPAF is the most recognised training accreditor, so courses that have been IPAF accredited are guaranteed to have the approval of all in the industry.
The first thing you need to do when pursuing IPAF training for MEWPs (Mobile Elevating Work Platforms) such as scissor lifts is to choose a training provider. Many of the most reputable equipment hire companies offer dedicated training programs and these are either carried out in a dedicated training centre or sometimes at your place of work. Once you have booked your training course you will need to bring with you the following:
- PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) including – high vis jacket or vest, hard hat, steel-toed boots.
- Your National Insurance Number and 2 passport photos for your IPAF card (should you pass the course!)
What will you learn?
Like any heavy duty machinery and indeed any equipment that facilitates working at height, scissor lifts are not without their dangers. But nearly all scissor lift accidents can be prevented by proper training. Attending IPAF accredited training for the use of scissor lifts will teach delegates a whole array of safe practice tips to ensure that accident possibility is dramatically reduced.
Scissor lift training will teach you about the hazards of certain terrain and weather conditions and how to plan routes and safe practice to mitigate against the threats that they can entail. You will learn how to run safety checks of your scissor lifts before operating them including tire pressure, guard rails, damaged parts and non OEM parts that could have been fitted in repairs and compromise the safety of the equipment.
Without going overboard with the details, the overriding message as regards scissor lift training is that corners should never be cut in order to acquiesce to the pressure of getting a job done in double time. The phrase ‘more haste, less speed’ could have been made to be applied to safe working at height. On your IPAF course you will learn via both theory and practice how best to operate your scissor lift to keep yourself and others on site as safe as is humanly possible. It is vital that training is renewed at regular intervals to refresh your learning and take advantage of advancements in understanding and technology.