Ensuring Safe Scissor Lift Movement on Construction Sites

by | Nov 2, 2023 | Construction Accident, Firm News

Scissor lifts are crucial for elevating workers safely and efficiently to perform tasks at height on construction sites. However, moving these lifts while elevated or improperly positioning them can lead to serious accidents and injuries. Understanding how to maneuver scissor lifts safely is critical for preventing mishaps during construction work. This article discusses the risks associated with moving scissor lifts and provides best practices for safe movement.

Key Risks of Moving Scissor Lifts

  1. Tip-Overs: One of the primary risks is tipping over, especially when moving a scissor lift with the platform elevated. The raised center of gravity makes the equipment highly unstable and susceptible to falling if it encounters slopes, debris, or unstable ground.
  2. Collisions: Maneuvering a scissor lift through tight spaces or around obstacles increases the risk of collisions with structures, machinery, or other workers. This can lead to crushing injuries or damage to the equipment.
  3. Power Line Contact: Moving the scissor lift without lowering the platform first can lead to accidental contact with overhead power lines, posing a severe electrocution risk.
  4. Mechanical Failures: Faulty brakes, hydraulic issues, or steering problems can lead to loss of control during movement, particularly if the lift is driven on uneven or inclined surfaces.

Best Practices for Safe Scissor Lift Movement

  1. Lower the Platform: Before moving the scissor lift to a new location, ensure the platform is fully lowered. Elevated platforms should never be driven to minimize the risk of tip-overs.
  2. Inspect Ground Conditions: Check the ground conditions thoroughly before driving. Avoid slopes, debris, or other unstable surfaces that could destabilize the lift or lead to tipping.
  3. Follow Safe Speed Limits: Drive at a controlled speed, following the manufacturer’s recommended speed limits. Slow down further when maneuvering through tight spaces or around obstacles.
  4. Clear Obstacles: Before moving, survey the path to ensure there are no obstacles, debris, or overhead hazards like power lines that could endanger the equipment or workers.
  5. Perform Pre-Operation Inspections: Inspect brakes, steering, and hydraulics to ensure they function correctly before driving the lift. Faulty components should be repaired immediately.
  6. Use Spotters: Have a spotter assist in guiding the lift through challenging areas, particularly if the path is congested or requires precise maneuvering.
  7. Operator Training: Only trained and authorized personnel should operate scissor lifts. Training should emphasize safe driving techniques, speed limits, and emergency procedures.


Moving scissor lifts safely requires careful attention to ground conditions, platform elevation, and driving speed. Lowering the platform, inspecting ground conditions, and using spotters are all critical practices to ensure safe movement and prevent tip-overs or collisions. Comprehensive operator training and pre-operation inspections further minimize risks and create safer working environments. Workers injured due to scissor lift accidents caused by improper movement or negligence should consult a personal injury attorney to understand their rights and pursue compensation.

Our experienced lawyers have handled personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits of all kinds and have the skills needed to represent the families of loved ones who have lost their lives or those who have been seriously hurt.  The experienced scissor lift personal injury and wrongful death attorneys at Spagnoletti Law Firm can help you understand your rights if you or a loved one was a victim of an accident involving a scissor lift.

Our lawyers have represented numerous workers who have sustained serious and catastrophic injuries on a job site as a result of the negligence of another party.  There are strict and short time limits on making claims, so please contact us online or call 713-804-9306 or to learn more about your legal rights.