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Scissor Lifts

Discussion in 'Safety Issues' started by Nige, Oct 18, 2012.

  1. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Looking for opinions here. We are using a JLG scissor lift in our shop on a level concrete floor to work on large truck dump bodies, usually on the canopy. So the guys are on the platform of the scissor lift with the platform raised maybe 3 feet from its lowest position and they are welding overhead. The platform deck is probably about 10 feet above workshop floor level. Our Safety germ has told me that they must wear harnesses when they do this. As far as I see it the scissor lift platform (which is completely handrailed) should be considered as a scaffold platform and therefore so long as they are not hanging off the side of the platform past the handrails (they're not) they should not need to wear harnesses. We have a policy that they NEVER move the scissor lift with the platform raised, to move it the platform has to be lowered to its lowest level, move the scissor lift, and then raise the platform to the required working height again.

    All opinions both for & against welcome.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2012
  2. Plant Fitter

    Plant Fitter Senior Member

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    I believe that the rule in Australia is that a harness is not required in a scissor lift, or at least that was the case the last time I used one.
     
  3. VoodooMojo

    VoodooMojo Senior Member

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    Official requirement:

    This document summarizes the requirements of the standards pertaining to fall protection on aerial
    work platforms in the United States and Canada. It is important to note that the primary means of
    fall protection on all aerial work platforms is provided by the guardrail system. However, there are
    some instances when a second level of fall protection is required by the standards for aerial work
    platforms in Canada and the United States as discussed below:

    Fall Protection Requirements on Booms:
    Use of approved personal fall protection equipment (PFPE) in addition to a guardrail for operator,
    fall protection is required in the United States and Canada for boom mounted aerial platforms. This
    requirement is mandated by the standards for Boom-Supported Elevating Work Platforms (ANSI
    A92.5 and CSA B354.4) and Vehicle-Mounted Elevating and Rotating Aerial Devices (ANSI
    A92.2 and CSA C225) and enforced by OSHA (USA) and Provincial (Canadian) authorities.


    Fall Protection Requirements on Manually Propelled and Scissor Lift Products:
    Standards for Manually Propelled Elevating Work Platforms (ANSI A92.3 and CSA B354.1) and
    Self Propelled Elevating Work Platforms (Scissor lifts) (ANSI A92.6 and CSA B354.2) do not
    require the use of PFPE in addition to guardrails. If a user (employer) or local government
    regulations requires an operator to use PFPE in addition to guardrails on these aerial platforms,
    lanyard attachment points are provided for this purpose.
     
  4. willie59

    willie59 Super Moderator

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    There's two fundamental differences between boom aerial machines and scissor lift machines, hence the reason PFPE is not required by federal law in the USA in a scissor machine. 1) boom machines have leveling platforms, scissor machines do not, although leveling platforms are designed to be as fail safe as possible, there is always the possibility of catastrophic failure of the leveling system which could tip workers out of boom machines, worst case of failure with a scissor would be it comes straight down. And 2) both machines are "driven" from platform, but with a boom machine running over a pothole or a large piece of debris in drive path could launch operator from platform because of the length of the boom, a scissor doing the same may cause the operator to stumble, but not likely that it would launch them from the deck.
     
  5. Lee-online

    Lee-online Senior Member

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    Boom lifts, we have to wear a harness, even if just driving it out of the shop. Scissor lifts, no harness. Now at a mine site, when 6' off the ground you have to be tied off unless on a catwalk with handrails all the way around.
     
  6. VoodooMojo

    VoodooMojo Senior Member

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    Like the Mythbusters episode where they were trying to catapult Buster out of the 80 footer!

    Rule of thumb for the moment is any platform that can position the operator completely outside the footprint of the machine will require the use of a harness and lanyard. Therefore the mandate of using them in a boomlift.

    But regardless of the OSHA/ANSI non-requirement for a scissor lift, if the jobsite/contractor/employer requires the use of the PFPE then that trumps the standard.
     
  7. willie59

    willie59 Super Moderator

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    Absolutely Mojo. ;)
     
  8. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Mojo, in normal circumstances I would agree with you 100%. However our Safety people are local (we're not in the US by the way so generally we are not 100% bound by OSHA/ANSI standards although obviously we generally use them as a guideline), they are as green as grass, and are literally making the rules up as they they see fit and depending on the way the wind's blowing on any given day. The Safety person who told me about the harness requirement is a 23-year-old fresh out of college "engineer" (and I use that word advisedly). I requested him to show me the ANSI/OSHA standard or regulation that mandates the use of a harness in a scissor lift and all he could do was turn to bluster and say "that's the way you'll do it because I say so" in so many words. He couldn't (or wouldn't) show me any documentation, either company policy or otherwise, which led me to believe he was bluffing.

    Well I'm going to hang the little cnut and thanks for the information that will help me to do it. If we can't house-train him and keep him from pulling stunts like this one our life ain't going to be worth living going forward.

    Agree 100% with Lee's comments about using a harness in a boomlift, but that's a totally different animal to what I'm talking about. See photo below. the welders use it to make the overhead welds you can see in the photos, then the painters use it when painting the underneath of the canopy and the front wall of the body.

    Scissor Lift.JPG
     
  9. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    Stupid question: Does he want you to be tied off to climb that stepladder? It's much more dangerous.
     
  10. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    Be careful what you wish for. He might just be stupid enough to ask that.

    I got him about a month ago while he was watching us installing the body on a chassis of an earlier truck and was coming up with all sorts of ideas about how we could do it "better & safer". I suggested he went away and wrote a procedure of how he would recommend doing it and bring it back to me for critique and to see if we could adopt any of his suggestions, as much to keep him off our backs as anything else. I'm still waitng to see it, and TBH I'm not holding my breath......
     
  11. Dualie

    Dualie Senior Member

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    In the platform with all gates and rails enclosed standing on the floor with the rails over 42" i will take the men and walk on a job before i make them tie off in a scissor lift.

    boom lift, COMPLETELY different story.
     
  12. bobb

    bobb Well-Known Member

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    on a scissors you need to use common sense. using a harness will more than likely cause you to trip or get tangled in with welding cables and such. if you have worked on a platform you know this. if you sit at a desk and walk out once in a while to impose your authority upon people who know better. then you probly have very little or no experience whatsoever in determining safety standards and safe working habits. its a common thing with safety dorks who think that their education is a better than common sense work practices that only experience can provide. your guys are so low to the ground they might hit the ground before the harness takes effect. lol. too bad we have to put up with safety dorks who have no ear for learning. i crawled out from under a boom once and had a dirt spec in the corner of my eye. i was taking it out as i normaly do when the safety person, comes up and tells me that if i had my hard hat on that wouldnt have happened. i can laugh now but at the time i had those tiny reader glasses on and not safety glasses. that dork didnt even notice. by the time i left that job i was ready to scream her face off, she was in my face every time i turned around. and as we all know, you never stand behind someone who is working.....on a boom you need a harness.
     
  13. AK HDM

    AK HDM Active Member

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    What are you supposed to tie the harness off to? Does it have anchor points that are rated for 5000 lbs? I can't recall seeing any tie off points on any scissor lifts that I've been around.
    Mike
     
  14. Dualie

    Dualie Senior Member

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    Most do have tie off points. Either down on the floor or on the mid rail. If you were going to be a nut and require them to use a tie off point it would need to be the ones on the floor if it was to make even the slightest bit of sense, even then the lanyard would have to be short enough to not allow the person to climb the rail at all.
     
  15. VoodooMojo

    VoodooMojo Senior Member

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    Nige's photo shows Lanyard Attach Points at the mid-rail. They are rods welded at the corners. They are designed to withstand a 5000 pound force.
    They are mandated to be there. Genie and Skyjack have them also.

    This would be a reason to verify that the guardrail attaching hardware inspections are being performed.

    Some jobsites/companies will require d-ring attach points are installed in the floor.
     
  16. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    LOL. Nige if he comes up with that I have a box of OSHA Approved sky hooks for sale that I can have shipped to ya', cheep...:D

    Same here no need for a harness in a scissor lift if all guard rails are in working order.
     
  17. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    I tried to post something yesterday and failed. No idea why, but after typing it all I wasn't going to do it all again.

    It turns out that the company has a Working @ Heights Policy that mandates the use of a harness in any type of aerial platform. So as Mojo says that trumps anything mandated by ANSI or OSHA/MSHA.
    We had discussions with our regional safety people who, it turned out, had come across this exact same issue regarsding harnesses on a scissor lift about 3 weeks ago on company another job site. When they dug into it they found: -

    1. The Policy does not differentiate between a boom lift and a scissor lift. They agree it ought to as the two types of machine are entirely different animals.
    2. The Policy as it stands is neither well-written nor clear. It needs improving. I nearly fell off my chair when he said that ............... We've been asked to re-write the policy from an "operations" point of view and then have safety critique it afterwards. That was also a bit of a turn-up for the books.
    3. The JLG Operator Manual for the scissor lift in question recommends wearing a harness "when operating" the platform. Our comment was that if the engine is off, whether the platform is raised of lowered at the time, it cannot be operated. Safety agreed with us and said that JLG will be asked to comment on that.
    4. The tie-off points on this particular model of scissor lift are designed and certified for 5000 pounds.

    Everyone (including regional safety) agreed that to do the particular welding or painting job we are doing, if you wear a harness with a lanyard short enough to prevent you falling to the ground and tied to one of the appropriate tie-off points in the corner of the platform, then your movement is so restricted as to make it almost impossible to do your job and the platform has to be moved far more times (right now we only move it once to weld the whole canopy) in order to complete the job.

    I was amazed when I walked out at the end of the meeting that it appeared that an epidemic of rational thinking appeared to have broken out. Not something one usually associates with the Safety Department
     
  18. Dualie

    Dualie Senior Member

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    now thats the one thing on earth that shocks me anymore. A group of people doing something smart! glad to hear some people still manage to let common sense prevail!
     
  19. Nige

    Nige Senior Member

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    The only person out of step with the meeting was, guess who..? Correct - our young departmental Safety germ who I mentioned previously in this thread. He commented to me that he saw the outcome as an "erosion of his authority". Well boo f**kin hoo ........

    P.S. I just found out he's only on a 6-month trial so far before being confirmed in the job, so it would be remiss of me and all my co-workers not to request the opportunity to fill in a Work Performance Report for him when he gets to the end of his probation period, doncha think..?
     
  20. mitch504

    mitch504 Senior Member

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    Hey Nige, when it comes time to fill in that evaluation, start a thread about it, we'll help you!