Scissor and Aerial Lift Safety (SMS Clients)

Course Dates: Open-ended
Enrollment Dates: Enroll Anytime
Who can Enroll: A passcode is required to enroll.
Course Language: English
Price:  FREE
Scissor and Aerial Lift Safety (SMS Clients)

About this course

Training Objective

To explain scissor and aerial lift hazards, OSHA operator training requirements, and other safety procedures. The result should be safer scissor and aerial lift operation and safer work habits in scissor and aerial lift work areas.


Scissor lifts are a resourceful way of reaching high places. Although most people consider scissor lifts to be a type of aerial lift, they are covered in the OSHA Standard 1926 for Scaffolding. While accident and fatalities are not common with scissor lifts, we always want to be prepared.

Aerial lifts are a resourceful way of reaching high places. They can also be dangerous if we do not use the lift they way it was intended to be used. It is important that we remember to inspect the aerial lift before each use and wear our fall protection at all times.

An aerial lift is any vehicle-mounted device used to elevate personnel, including:

  • Extendable boom platforms,
  • Aerial ladders,
  • Articulating (jointed) boom platforms,
  • Vertical towers, and
  • Any combination of the above.

General Hazards

Scissor Lifts:

A scissor lift tipping over is the number one cause of fatalities, accounting for 40% of all fatalities when working on or around a scissor lift. Here are some of the top causes of fatalities:

  • Operating on an uneven surface
  • Climbing above or leaning over the 42-inch minimum top rail
  • Overloading and collapsing the lift (i.e. using a lift as a material crane)
  • Making contact with electrical conductors with an uninsulated portion of the lift
  • Unobserved, uncorrected mechanical or structural defects in equipment
  • The scissor lift being hit by another vehicle or machine, leading to tip-over

OSHA found that most injuries and fatalities involving scissor lifts were the result of employers not addressing:

  • Fall Protection
  • Stabilization
  • Positioning

Aerial Lifts:

The following hazards, among others, can occur when using an aerial lift:

  • Fall from elevated level,
  • Objects falling from lifts,
  • Tip-overs,
  • Ejections from the lift platform,
  • Structural failures (collapses),
  • Electric shock (electrocutions),
  • Entanglement hazards,
  • Contact with objects, and
  • Contact with ceilings and other overhead objects.

Because of the potential for serious forklift accidents, OSHA permits only trained people to operate them.

OSHA Regulations

Scissor Lifts:

Employers must comply with the following OSHA standards (29 CFR) to protect workers from hazards associated with scissor lifts.

  • General Industry
    • 1910.23 – Guarding Floor and Wall Openings and Holes
    • 1910.28 – Safety Requirements for Scaffolding
    • 1910.29 – Manually Propelled Mobile Ladder Stands and Scaffolds (Towers)
    • 1910.333 – Selection and Use of Work Practices
  • Shipyards
    • 1915.71 – Scaffolds or Staging
  • Construction
    • 1926.21 – Safety Training and Education
    • 1926.451 – General Requirements
    • 1926.452 – Additional Requirements to Specific Types of Scaffolds
    • 1926.454 – Training Requirements

Aerial Lifts:

Employers must comply with the following OSHA standards (29 CFR) to protect workers from hazards associated with aerial lifts.

  • 29 CFR 1910.67
  • 29 CFR 1910.269(p)
  • 29 CFR 1926.21
  • 29 CFR 1926.453
  • 29 CFR 1926.502

OSHA Regulations:

OSHA's training requirements for General Industry can be found in Title 29, Code of Federal Regulations Part 1910. Many OSHA standards explicitly require the employer to train employees in the safety and health aspects of their jobs. OSHA requires only trained and competent operators shall be permitted to operate a scissor or aerial lift. All scissor and aerial lift operators must be trained by their organizations. (OSHA Source for Scissor Lifts) (OSHA Source for Aerial Lifts)

Scissor and aerial lift requirements can be found under OSHA standards [29 CFR 1926.450 - 452] and [29 CFR 1910.67].

Course Structure

  • --Scissor and Aerial Lift Safety Training – Welcome
  • --Part One
  • --Part Two
  • --Part Three
  • --Part Four
  • --Quiz

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