Driving tests

How to avoid trapping and crushing injuries when using a scissor lift or boom lift

Trapping and crushing injuries are all too easy on scissor lifts and boom lifts. They have lots of moving parts, they can work in hazardous areas getting close to other objects, and they move with force (there’s some weight behind them).

This checklist will help operators avoid trapping and crushing risks.

Before moving

Be aware of your surroundings (particularly where there are overhangs and edges close to where you’ll be lifting).

Check the direction indicators before moving a boom lift.

Don’t put your feet in the way of the wheels if someone else has the controls – keep outside the exclusion zone unless it is disabled or you are in control of the lower controls.

Moving the MEWP

Scan in front of and above the platform in the direction of movement.

Take care not to exceed driving speeds that mean you don’t have full control

When close to objects, use fine motor movements, and be aware that position overrun might occur when you release the controls

Take care when slewing the boom next to a wall so that you don’t swing into it.

Look up when moving up, and remember to look behind and up so you cover your blind spots.

When extending or retracting platform extensions, watch for pinch points.

Working on the EWP

Reaching through the guardrail is not best practice. Reach over the top of the guardrail so that if the platform suddenly drops, the top rail does not act like a guillotine if your arm or torso are blocked by an object

Don’t put limbs or your torso through the guardrail.

Don’t straddle the guardrail.

Shutting down the EWP

Only operate the lower controls when standing on the ground, not by leaning over the side of the EWP

Don’t put any body parts between the scissor arms, in any joints in knuckle boom EWPs, or in parts that telescope in and out.

Darren has written over 3000 articles about driving and vehicles, plus almost 500 vehicle reviews and numerous driving courses. Connect with him on LinkedIn by clicking the name above

Posted in Advice, EWP