Safety 101: How NOT to be Electrocuted on a Scissor Lift

February 14, 2022

A Tennessee electrician made the news a few years ago when he was electrocuted while working on a sign in a scissor lift. He was fortunate enough to survive and seek the proper treatment, but 44% of other electrical incidents were fatal.

Now this might seem like an oddly specific example; after all, how often are people electrocuted in a scissor lift, anyway? All that aside, data does support the fact that one of the biggest hazard any lift faces are power lines.

Scissor lift electrocution avoidance

OSHA created a brochure to outline three aspects of safety when operating a scissor lift: fall protection, stabilization, and positioning. All three are important to know and understand, but the third can provide the most protection from electrocution. In short, don’t operate a scissor lift directly beneath or right next to energized power lines.

Other safety tips are as follows:

  1. If working near powerlines or overhead cables, de-energize them before you begin to work.
  2. Use insulated aerial devices if de-energizing is not an option.
  3. Inspect the surrounding area to all cables are accounted for and that your lift won’t snag on any lines. In addition, use a spotter to ensure you did not miss something.
  4. Always maintain a minimum approach distance, especially if the powerlines were not de-energized.
  5. Implement a system for maintaining traffic around the work zone so that other workers, vehicles, or pedestrians do not get too close.
  6. Follow additional rules and guidelines as circumstances dictate.

These tips are just an overview of the safety standards and regulations we cover in our Scissor Lift training, so be sure to check out the online training course for more information. We also provide trainings on Electric Safety, Overhead Electric Utilities, Lockout/Tagout, and more so feel free to peruse those on our site, as well.

If you’re curious about what else we create trainings on, visit our website for more details!

Good luck and stay safe!

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