How to Prevent Tip-Overs with Scissor Lifts on Construction Sites

by | Jan 5, 2024 | Construction Accident, Firm News

Scissor lifts are essential tools for safely elevating workers on construction sites, allowing them to perform various tasks at heights with ease. However, tip-overs remain a significant safety concern, often resulting in severe injuries or fatalities. Preventing these accidents requires strict adherence to safety protocols, proper training, and diligent inspection. This article provides practical guidance on preventing scissor lift tip-overs to ensure the safety of workers.

Common Causes of Scissor Lift Tip-Overs

  1. Unstable Ground Conditions: Placing scissor lifts on uneven or unstable ground increases the likelihood of a tip-over, particularly when the platform is fully elevated.
  2. Overloading the Platform: Exceeding the manufacturer’s weight capacity or failing to distribute weight evenly across the platform can shift the center of gravity and destabilize the lift.
  3. Strong Winds: Gusts of wind can make elevated scissor lifts sway or tip over, especially at greater heights.
  4. Improper Use: Moving or adjusting the lift while the platform is elevated, driving over debris or obstacles, or using the equipment without stabilizers can lead to dangerous tip-overs.

Essential Tips to Prevent Scissor Lift Tip-Overs

  1. Inspect Ground Conditions: Before elevating the scissor lift, ensure the ground is level, firm, and free of debris or obstacles. Avoid operating on slopes, and use stabilizers or outriggers if the equipment is equipped with them.
  2. Adhere to Weight Limits: Always follow the manufacturer’s weight limits for personnel and equipment. Avoid overloading the platform and distribute weight evenly to maintain stability.
  3. Monitor Wind Speeds: Be aware of wind speeds before elevating the platform. Avoid using the lift if gusts exceed the manufacturer’s recommended wind speed limits.
  4. Pre-Operation Inspection: Conduct thorough pre-operation inspections to identify mechanical issues, hydraulic leaks, or damage to stabilizers and safety features.
  5. Avoid Improper Movement: Never move the scissor lift while the platform is elevated, and ensure that it is properly secured before driving. Lower the platform when moving to a new location or passing over obstacles.
  6. Operator Training: Only trained and authorized operators should use scissor lifts. Training should include proper setup, stabilization, emergency procedures, and best practices for weight distribution.
  7. Emergency Lowering Controls: Familiarize operators and ground crew with the emergency lowering controls to quickly and safely lower the platform if an issue arises.


Preventing scissor lift tip-overs requires a comprehensive approach that includes proper setup, strict adherence to weight limits, and careful monitoring of wind speeds and ground conditions. Operator training and pre-operation inspections are essential for maintaining stability and reducing the risk of accidents. By following these safety guidelines, construction workers can significantly reduce the likelihood of tip-overs and ensure safer working environments. In the event of an accident caused by negligence or improper use, victims should consult with a personal injury attorney to understand their rights and seek fair 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.