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The scissor lift shown above is an example and is included for illustrative purposes only. It is not the specific lift involved in the incident described in this Hazard Alert.
During the Fall 2010 college football season, a student who was also an employee of the University of Notre Dame was killed while filming the school's football team practice from a scissor lift. A scissor lift is a portable, hydraulic-powered lift with a platform that can be raised into the air directly above the base. Reportedly, the worker, who had not been trained to properly operate the scissor lift, raised the lift over 39 feet into the air to film the practice. The wind gusts that day were more than 50 miles per hour. The high winds blew the lift over, killing the worker.
Organizations that have workers, including students who are employees, who use scissor lifts to film events and functions must address the hazards associated with this equipment. These hazards can include:
How to Reduce Hazards
Many scissor lifts are covered under OSHA's scaffolding standard. For technical assistance, please refer to OSHA's eTool and Other Resources on Scaffolding.
The Indiana Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued a letter and outreach materials on Safe Work Practices for Lifts.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has standards for manufacturing, owning, and operating scissor lifts. They can be found in ANSI A92.3-2006 (Manually Propelled Elevating Aerial Platforms) and A92.6-2006 (Self-Propelled Elevating Work Platforms).
The International Powered Access Federation (IPAF) has a training program for aerial and scissor lifts. For a fee, successful trainees receive a one day, hands-on aerial lift training and are awarded the PAL Card (Powered Access Licence) as proof of training. More information is available at IPAF's website.
Help for Employers
OSHA provides a free On-site Consultation for small businesses with fewer than 250 workers at a site (and no more than 500 employees nationwide). On-site consultation services are separate from enforcement and do not result in penalties or citations. To locate the OSHA Consultation Office nearest you, visit OSHA's website or call 1-800-321-6742.
OSHA also has Compliance Assistance Specialists throughout the nation who can provide general information about OSHA standards and compliance assistance resources. Contact your local OSHA office for more information.
Workers have the right to:
For additional information on Workers' Rights, Employer Responsibilities, and other services OSHA offers, visit OSHA's Workers page.
For questions or to get information or advice, to report an emergency, report a fatality or catastrophe, order products, or to file a complaint, contact your nearest OSHA office, visit OSHA's website, or call OSHA at 1-800-321-OSHA (6742), TTY 1-877-889-5627. We will keep your information confidential. We are here to help you.
Many states operate their own OSHA-approved safety and health program. For further information, please visit OSHA's State Occupational Safety and Health Plans page.
Accessibility Assistance: Contact the OSHA Directorate of Technical Support and Emergency Management at (202) 693-2300 for assistance accessing PDF materials.