Your complete guide to using Scissor Lifts safely

Uphire scissor lift hire

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Did you know an estimated 20-30 deaths occur worldwide each year from Scissor Lift use?

Not only that, but businesses can be heavily fined for failing to ensure a safe environment prior to Scissor Lift operation.

There are important considerations for businesses and the Scissor Lift operator, to ensure their safety as well as those in proximity.

In this blog we’ll take a look at frequently asked questions for operating a Scissor Lift and the answers you need in order for your hire to stay compliant and minimise the risk of accidents in the workplace.

Do I need a risk assessment for Scissor Lift use?

Yes, it’s the best time to identify whether you can use a Scissor Lift safely in your environment.

By carrying out a risk assessment prior to your Scissor Lift operation, you can determine whether it is safe to use a Scissor Lift on your premises.

Your risk assessment could highlight potential dangers such as:

  • Dangers of crushing
  • Risk of Scissor Lift overturning
  • Impact of poor weather (if using the Scissor Lift externally)
  • Overhead obstructions
  • Exclusion area around the Scissor Lift
  • Operator training and competency

What other paperwork needs to be completed before Scissor Lift use?

A pre-use inspection worksheet should be completed before the use of a Scissor Lift.

This ensures that the person inspecting the Scissor Lift can find any faults or defects (if any) before it’s operated, whether it be a problem with the tyres, charging operation or even if user manuals are missing.

Do you need a license/certification to operate a Scissor Lift?

The answer to this is an emphatic yes – operators of Scissor Lifts need to carry out and complete certain training requirements in order to operate a Scissor Lift.

IPAF and MEWPs training is required to gain a PAL (Powered Access Licence) and covers all aspects of Scissor Lift use.

Rest assured our Scissor Lift operators are fully certificated and compliant, meaning if you do not have a competent person to operate your Scissor Lift you can still hire through Uphire.

Do you need a safety harness to use a Scissor Lift?

It is not a legal requirement in the UK but it is highly recommended that the Scissor Lift operator wears a full body safety harness.

The harness won’t prevent a fall, but it can limit the risk of an accident, injury, or fatality.

A safety harness can provide Scissor Lift operators with the peace of mind that they can work safely at height.

If working near or over water, a harness should not be used but a lifejacket should be worn instead by the Scissor Lift operator to address the risk of drowning.

Can Scissor Lifts tip over?

Yes – and this is something your risk assessment should address before operating a Scissor Lift.

Uneven ground is a common risk for Scissor Lifts, which require flat solid ground to operate safely.

Scissor Lifts can tip over if the ground a scissor lift is traveling or positioned on is has bumps, holes/potholes, slopes or inclines.

There have been incidents where Scissor Lifts were being operated near the close proximity of vehicles, one unfortunate incident occurring in Ipswich whereby the Scissor Lift tipped over after being knocked by a HGV.

Can I move a Scissor Lift while it’s elevated?

No – Scissor Lifts should not be moved when they are extended – due to multiple risks that could be encountered.

The weight distribution of the Scissor Lift could cause it to tip over while it’s being moved, and it is far more difficult to spot hazards on the ground while the Scissor Lift is elevated

Can you use a Scissor Lift while it’s charging?

Although it is possible to use a Scissor Lift while it’s charging, we would recommend against the idea.

This is because of the risk of the charging cable being entangled in the Scissor Lift if it’s being moved/operated while it’s plugged in.

When hiring a Scissor Lift from Uphire, we’ll ensure your Scissor Lift is fully charged before first use.

Can I use a Scissor Lift in all weathers?

No – if using your Scissor Lift outside, the dangers are increased depending on the severity of the weather.

Strong winds are huge stability risk and driving rain can cause the operators platform to become slippery.

It almost goes without saying that using a Scissor Lift in Icey conditions is a big no-no!

Always ensure to take weather into consideration before operating a Scissor Lift.


When you’re required to work at height, using equipment such as a Scissor Lift is a popular and effective way to carry out the job, whether it’s inside or outside a building.

However, businesses must ensure that the environment the Scissor Lift will be used in is safe and that a competent, trained person is operating the Scissor Lift.

Uphire provide electronic training manuals for all Scissor Lifts that are hired out, which can be easily found via QR codes on the Scissor Lifts themselves.

If you require Scissor Lift hire with the use of a fully trained operator, contact us today for a free quotation

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