Scissor lift: How high can I be to move it?

Scissor lift

Hi, it’s the Spanish OSHA Guy! Recently I was asked about something someone saw in a safety training video regarding moving a scissor lift. The question was,

We are going thru the material you provided us on scissor lift training and I have a question for you. We are going thru the NSC Aerial and Scissor Lift Safety dvd and in the video it states for moving the scissor lift while elevated the height to base width ratio of the lift during movement is two to one. Can you clarify this point me?

Here is the explanation:

OSHA considers a scissor lift a “mobile scaffold”.  And thus, in order to move a mobile scaffold (think of staging with wheels) with someone up there on it, OSHA says that the following MUST be true according to its 1926.452(w)(6):
Employees cannot ride on scaffolds unless:
  1. The surface on which the scaffold is being moved is within 3 degrees of level, and free of pits, holes and obstructions.
  2. The competent person must be on site to supervise.
  3. Outrigger frames, when used, are installed on both sides of the scaffold.
  4. When power systems are used, the propelling force is applied directly to the  wheels, and does not produce a speed in excess of 1 foot per second.
  5. No employee is on any part of the scaffold which extends outward beyond the wheels, casters, or other supports.
  6. The height must be no greater than 2 times the width of the base.  (The height-to-base width ratio of the scaffold during movement is two to one or less, unless the scaffold is designed and constructed to meet or exceed nationally recognized stability test requirements.)
In other words if all of these requirements are not met, then just get down, then move the scaffold and finally go back to do your work.  So as a general rule with a scissor lift, anytime you move it you should lower the lift all the way (or at least lower than 2 times the width of the base.  So if your scissor lift is 4-feet wide, then the platform must be lower than 8 feet in order to move it.  I will continue to provide answers to common questions I get in my OSHA 10 hour and 30 hour outreach training. Until next time, Steve!

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