OSEA Safety Blog

A look at scissor lifts and fall protection

Sunday, September 14, 2014 John P. Coniglio - PhD, CSP, CHMM, RPIH, CSC

There is continuing discussion about the need to utilize appropriate fall protection – harness lanyard connected to anchorage point – while working within scissor lifts.

Let’s not mask the need by referencing minimalist OSHA regulations and interpretations which essentially differ the strict need to be "tied off". Even with full-rail systems, workers are falling and getting hurt.

On a recent fatality investigation from a fully-railed lift, I commented: "Look at all the modern, excellent equipment we use on projects in construction and yet we still have these accidents."

Let's stop the parochial review of what OSHA may enforce or what the manufacturer may suggest and get serious about preventing these accidents.

I have no patience for so called "safety professionals" who use rote necessitation of OSHA regulation and interpretive letters when their job is solely accident prevention. We recently saw one contractor who built a diamond plate stair system to be placed on a scissor lift platform to gain elevation. They said their "PE" designed it so it must be OK!

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