Operating a business where team members utilize aerial lift equipment, scissor lifts, or similar has its share of management responsibilities—namely, the certification process for both personnel and equipment and the subsequent inspections. To help make sense of all required, we’ve put together this guide for business managers like you.
It is necessary to certify and regularly inspect scissor lift working platform equipment in many countries and regions. Similarly, you must also maintain regular inspections for the personal protective equipment team members utilize.
This guide will explore the certification and inspection requirements for scissor lift equipment. We’ll include some great tips to help manage the certification and inspection processes smoothly and efficiently. So, stick around and read this through so you don’t miss some tips that could save you time and money.
What Is Scissor Lift Certification?
There are two possible types of scissor lift (aka scissor lift) certification.
- Equipment Certification
- Operator Certification
Equipment certification typically occurs at the time of equipment purchase and then following via a certified technician. If utilizing rental equipment, the rental company will be responsible for mechanical certification of the equipment. However, your operators must still perform daily pre-use inspections, just like they would for a daily forklift inspection, for example.
We’ll discuss both the equipment and operator certifications briefly below.
Using aerial lifting equipment in a work setting (or any setting for that matter) needs to be safe for those operating the equipment and those around the area. To ensure the utmost safety, compliance with equipment certification is a must.
Certified equipment is necessary if you don’t want a job stop-work order against your operation. The certification ensures equipment is safe to operate, which prevents costly work stoppages due to faulty equipment. However, the rules vary slightly, depending on where you operate.
To sum up the benefits to certification:
- Maintain safe equipment
- Avoid costly breakdowns that stop work
- Avoid stop-work orders from regulators for unsafe equipment
- Prevent expensive equipment repairs through early detection
How Scissor Lift Certification Works
The catch with getting equipment certified is that it can only be authorized by a competent mechanic trained in the maintenance and repair of the equipment. The process is fairly straightforward, just call a local company that repairs the equipment and ask them for a certification of your equipment.
Typically, you’ll want to have your equipment annually certified to ensure safe operation and to appease most regulations for most areas. Again, check with local authorities for the frequency you are required to re-certify the equipment in your region.
It stands to reason that any piece of mobile equipment that your team might use on a job site should face safety inspection. By scheduling and mandating regular equipment inspections, you ensure you follow your due diligence in protecting your staff. Similarly, and more importantly, you reduce the chance of equipment failure that might pose a safety hazard.
The certification process for scissor lift equipment is fairly straightforward in its execution. Typically, team members will do one of two things.
- Team members go to a facility where an instructor has the appropriate equipment.
- Team members stay at your facility and you provide an instructor and the appropriate equipment at your facility.
To further understand how the OSHA views scissor lifts, let’s look at a few common questions and answer them as best we can.
Does Osha Require Certification For Scissor Lift?
The OSHA does not view a scissor lift in the same way it views a vehicle, such as a powered industrial truck (1910.178). However, the scissor lift does fall under the jurisdiction of the mobile scaffold standards (1926.451). Similarly, it also falls under Section 1926.556(b)(2)(ii) that only an ‘authorized person’ operates an aerial lift. Although some interpretations of the OSHA regulations deem that the scissor lift doesn’t count as an aerial lift, it’s wise to follow the common sense of applying the same regulations regarding training requirements.
That authorized person must be trained by someone who is deemed competent and thus equally certified (through association, at least that’s our interpretation).
For more information about what the OSHA says about the requirements, see page 19 of the OSHA Training Requirements Standards publication.
What Training Is Required For Scissor Lift?
The training for scissor lifts is specialized for that type of training of aerial or similar lift equipment.
Scissor lift training is readily available in most major centers due to its prolific use in multiple industries. Training must be provided by a certified trainer (someone competent and possessing certification in the use and inspection of the equipment). Training typically lasts a few hours to a day and involves an in-class portion as well as a practical operation test of the equipment. Some companies are offering the training online, however, only real-world use of the equipment will expose personnel to its proper use.
There are no grades or levels to scissor lift training. Typically certification involves the class, use of equipment, and written test. Instructors typically pass students based on a combination of their test results and demonstrated use of the equipment.
How Do You Get A Lift Certification?
As mentioned earlier, getting certified in scissor lift operation is fairly straightforward.
Try doing a local search for scissor lift training and you’ll see how many training companies could help train your team.
Costs vary for the training, but usually, you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 per person (updated for 2020). Prices will fluctuate based on market and regional conditions, of course.
How Long Does A Scissor Lift Licence Last?
Scissor lift licenses usually offer a 3 year period before requiring renewal. However, some areas require annual refresher courses. Many larger businesses choose to train someone to do in-house training and offer refresher classes for staff on a semi-regular basis. Remember to check with your local bylaws and regulations to ensure you keep your staff up to date.
What Equipment Do Operators Need For A Scissor Lift?
Most regions require that those trained in operating a scissor lift have typical equipment for a fall-hazard situation. It is wise to mandate workers to complete a daily risk assessment or other safety awareness compliance due to the fall hazard.
Did you know that between 2011 and 2014 over 1,300 workers were injured due to aerial lift operations? It’s true. Between these years there were 1,380 workers were injured and 360 of them were due to falling. Perhaps better training would have saved them. (source)
Scissor Lift Inspections
Scissor lift inspections are safety and operational audits of the mobile lift platform equipment. Inspections have two separate classes we will discuss below so you have everything you need to know about managing the inspection of this equipment.
How Often Should Scissor Lifts Be Inspected?
Scissor lifts need regular inspection, like any other type of mobile equipment. However, there are special considerations due to the nature of the equipment. After all, it’s going to lift people up into the air.
Inspection frequency for scissor lift equipment typically falls into two categories:
- Daily Inspection (prior to use inspection)
- Annual Inspection
Daily inspections of your scissor lift equipment need to be performed by those licensed in the use of the equipment. They do not need to be certified as mechanics for the lift equipment, however, they should be licensed operators of the scissor lift.
Similarly, the inspector should be the same person who is intending to operate the equipment. In other words, the operator of the scissor lift must perform a pre-use inspection. Typically this inspection is recurring on a daily basis.
When multiple operators of equipment exist, each operator should perform their own daily inspection. When equipment changes hands, so to speak, it should face reinspection.
Annual inspections of scissor lift equipment need completion by a licensed mechanic, certified specifically in the particular equipment’s repair. The annual inspection process usually involves either dropping off the equipment to a mechanic or utilizing a mobile mechanic service.
Although agencies like OSHA may not have a particular mandated regulation regarding scissor lift equipment certification, the rule of common sense applies. Most forms of the mobile equipment used in a work environment require an annual safety inspection. Adopting this similar policy shows due diligence is undertaken by your company.
How Do You Inspect A Scissor Lift?
As mentioned earlier, there are two basic forms of scissor lift inspection: daily and annual. Annual equipment inspections must be completed by a certified mechanic, so we won’t cover how they do their job here. However, the daily inspection needs completion from the operator, so we’ll take a look at what’s involved.
Typical scissor lift equipment is electrically powered, but some larger models run on internal combustion. The inspection process is slightly different, but here are the basics that are required for each form of the equipment:
- Ladder visually inspected to be safe and have anti-slip steps.
- Gate is returning and latches and railings are fully intact and in good condition.
- Fall protection equipment tie-in points are not damaged and in good condition.
- Scissor lift upper deck controls are clear and operator tests all functions.
- Emergency lowering valve is in good working order and base controls are tested.
- Charge or fuel level is confirmed for safe operation.
- Horn and lights (if equipped) are all functioning properly.
- Outriggers working and platform is secure while lifting.
There are a number of other items such as visual inspection of the scissoring lift assembly and more are also wise, but the 8 items above comprise the majority of the daily scissor lift inspection.
Best Tools For Efficient Scissor Lift And Aerial Equipment Inspection
We provide a variety of printable templates in our template library that you can use for equipment inspection documentation. However, we also offer an even better solution – a mobile reporting app available on Google Play and The Apple App Store.
Mobile form automation solutions like our 1st Reporting app allow you to customize the reporting experience. Starting with our library of templates for everything from standard incident reporting to daily equipment inspections and site condition reports.
Using a mobile cloud-based application allows for more than just mitigating the risk of lost paperwork. Cloud-based inspection reporting solutions allow your team to retrieve documents the moment they are submitted. Similarly, adding images or even video is something that a paper form could never manage.
If you’re ready to try a platform that even lets you set up customized notifications when forms are submitted, then give us a try today. Find out more here about our mobile solutions.