The Ultimate Guide to Scissor Lifts: Types, Operation and Safety Precautions


Scissor lifts are an essential piece of equipment in the construction and maintenance industries. They provide a safer way to work at heights, increasing efficiency while reducing the risk of injuries. This guide explores everything one needs to know about scissor lifts, including their operation, various types, and essential safety precautions.

What Are Scissor Lifts?

Scissor lifts, also called aerial work platforms, are hydraulic-powered raised platforms designed to support heavy loads while being elevated to heights. They provide a sturdy, stable working platform that can be raised and lowered vertically. They are versatile as they come in different sizes, shapes, and load capacities to suit various working environments. They are commonly used in construction, maintenance, and warehouse operations.

How Do Scissor Lifts Work?

Scissor lifts use a hydraulic mechanism to raise and lower the platform. The hydraulic system consists of a pump powered by an electric motor, hydraulic hoses, and pistons. When activated, the hydraulic system pumps oil to the cylinders mounted on each side of the scissor mechanism, which expands the platform to the desired height. The hydraulic system is straightforward and easy to operate.

Types of Scissor Lifts

Scissor lifts are classified into different types based on their working height, weight capacity and features. The most common types are electric scissor lifts, rough terrain scissor lifts and diesel-powered scissor lifts. Electric scissor lifts have zero emissions, making them suitable for indoor operations, while rough terrain scissor lifts are ideal for outdoor operations as they can work on uneven ground. Diesel-powered lifts are suitable for heavy-duty outdoor operations.

Safety Precautions

Scissor lifts come with various safety features that must be followed for safe operation. Before using a scissor lift, always inspect the equipment, including the hydraulic system, electrical system, platform, guardrails, and wheels. Assign a qualified operator to control the lift and ensure that the workers wear appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Always operate the scissor lift on level ground and within the manufacturer's weight capacity to prevent tip-over accidents.

Maintenance and Repair

Scissor lifts require regular maintenance to operate smoothly and safely. Regular inspections include checking for hydraulic leaks, electrical faults, platform alignment, and worn-out parts. Always replace faulty or worn-out parts and carry out preventive maintenance to minimize downtime. Always refer to the manufacturer's manual for maintenance procedures and repair. Regular cleaning will prevent corrosion and prolong the life of the scissor lift.

In conclusion, scissor lifts offer a safer alternative to working at heights, making them a necessary piece of equipment in various industries. Understanding the different types of scissor lifts, their operation, and safety precautions is crucial for safe and efficient operation. Always remember to inspect the equipment, assign a qualified operator, wear appropriate PPE, operate within weight capacity, and follow the manufacturer's maintenance instructions to keep the scissor lift in optimal working condition.


3 November 2023

Understanding Aspects of Industrial Supply

Gaining a good understanding of industrial supplies can really help a man to get ahead. I'm Jo and while I do not work directly in the industrial equipment or supply business, I have learnt a lot from my brother who works in a large factory in Sydney. I would often spend weekends down there watching the guys at work. Now and again, my brother would ask me to help him out so we could try and find a good deal on a new piece of kit. I did it, and I learnt a lot while I did it. I hope you like my blog.