Customizing Your Scissors Lift to Improve Safety and Efficiency

lifting platformScissors lifts are designed to position workers in ergonomically correct work positions so that specific tasks can be performed safely and efficiently. Because every job is unique, however, a cookie cutter approach to scissors lift often is not practical.

Fortunately, there are many options available when it comes to customizing your scissors lift to fit the specific needs of the job.

Platform Size and Shape

When customizing a scissors lift, one of the first considerations is the size of the platform. If there isn’t enough room for workers, their tools, and equipment like work tables, jib cranes, tool boxes and work benches, this could impact efficiency. To ensure safety, the surface area should be large enough so that workers can perform their jobs without being cramped or crowded.

Not every work area will have a straight edge. Some may be rounded, tapered or have some other unusual shape. Most standard scissors lifts, however, have straight edges, so there may be a gap between the edge of the lift and the surface of the work area.

To reduce the risk of danger, scissors lifts can be customized with platform extensions or platform cut outs that marry the lift work surface to the work area surface. These can be either permanent, can have hinges that allow them to be folded down, or may have powered horizontal extensions.

Reducing Slippage with Customized Surfaces

The surface of the scissors lift platform also can be customized. Standard scissors lifts typically come with embossed safety thread. But other options include smooth steel with silica sand for slip resistance, open grating, or even wood surfaces.

Surfaces can be made from aluminum, stainless steel or carbon steel. Customized finishes can include epoxy paint, industrial enamel, stainless steel finished with products such as Steel-It, or even zinc, depending on the specific needs of the job assignment.

Removing the Risk of Shear Points

Another consideration is protecting workers from any type of shear point that may be form between the edge of the moving platform and the adjacent work surface. Although most lift manufacturers recommend leaving at least a four inch gap between the lift surface and the work surface, or extending the platform away from the work surface and then propelling the lift into position after the platform has been extended.

But there are customized solutions, including using hinged platform extensions that can be lowered horizontally after the lift has been extended. Other customized options include vertical rising guardrails, swing gates or removable handrails that can be used when the lift is being elevated. Operator controls can be located so that the operator must stand back from the platform edge while elevating the platform.

Customized Safety Options

Customized safety options include configuring guardrails for optimal security or equipping them with additional gates or chains that are vertical folding, swinging, removable or even retract into the platform. Some gates can be equipped with electrical interlocks that prevent the platform from being raised or lowered unless the guardrails or gates are in the desired position.

Obviously, the more customization that is applied to a scissors lift, the more expensive they will be. But ensuring worker safety by providing customized solutions to scissors lift often makes the additional expense worthwhile.