A Step-by-step guide on how to use an electric scissor lift


Electric scissor lifts are versatile and very useful tools for a wide range of tasks, particularly within the shop-fitting and construction industries. Whether you need to reach high shelves in a warehouse, perform maintenance on a building, or complete construction projects, understanding how to correctly use an electric scissor lift safely and effectively is crucial to your project. In this guide, we will walk you through the step-by-step process of what to do when it comes to operating one of our electric scissor lifts.

Step 1: Pre-project assessment

Before you begin using the electric scissor lift, it’s essential that you familiarise yourself with its various features and controls. This will ensure you use it safely and correctly.

Here’s a quick checklist you can use:

Verify the controls: Ensure all control buttons and joysticks are functioning correctly. Test the lift’s movements (up, down, forward, backward) to ensure they respond as you would expect. Any required training for the lift can be provided by AWS Nationwide.

Inspect the safety features: Confirm that safety features like guardrails, emergency stop buttons, and outriggers (if equipped) are in good working order, and you know how to operate them.

Check the power source: Ensure that the lift’s batteries are fully charged or connected to a power source.

Verify the load capacity: Determine the maximum weight the lift can handle safely and ensure you do not exceed this limit.

Step 2: Choose the right spot

Select a suitable spot for your scissor lift operation.

Consider the following factors:

Ground stability: Ensure the ground the lift is operating on is level, stable, and capable of supporting the weight of the lift and any loads you intend to carry.

Clearance: Before you start, make sure that there is enough space overhead to operate your lift safely without any obstructions.

Avoid slopes and inclines: Scissor lifts are designed for use on flat surfaces. Avoid operating on slopes, inclines, or uneven terrain.

Clear pathways: Make sure there are clear and safe pathways for the lift to operate in without obstacles or obstructions.

Step 3: Secure the work area

Before using the scissor lift, establish a safe work zone. This includes:

Secure the area: Use cones, signs, or barriers to cordon off the work area and keep unauthorised personnel away.

Communicate: If you are working with a team, establish clear communication methods and signals to coordinate movements and tasks safely.

Maintain a clean workspace: Remove debris and hazards from the work area to prevent tripping or accidents.

Step 4: Operating the scissor lift

Once you’ve completed the pre-project assessment and set up your work area, you can now operate the scissor lift:

All aboard! Climb onto the platform, ensuring that you have your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on, including a safety harness if required.

Start the lift: Turn on the power and familiarise yourself with the lift’s controls. Gently raise the platform to your desired height using the lift’s controls.

Move and adjust: Use the lift’s controls to manoeuvre the platform into the right position. Take care to avoid overhead obstructions and ensure that you maintain balance.

Perform the task: Once the platform is in the correct position, carry out the task at hand, whether it’s maintenance, picking items from shelves, or any other work.

Lower and exit: After completing your task, carefully lower the platform to the ground, and ensure that it’s stable and secure. Exit the platform safely.

Step 5: Post-operation tasks

After using the electric scissor lift, don’t forget to perform these important post-operation tasks:

Clean and maintain: Clean the lift, and if you notice any issues during operation, report them to maintenance.

Secure the lift: Park the scissor lift in a designated area, and if required, lock it to prevent unauthorised use.

Charge the batteries: If the lift is battery-powered, make sure to charge the batteries for the next use.

To summarise…

Operating an electric scissor lift can be a safe and efficient way to access elevated workspaces. However, safety should always be the top priority. By following these steps for pre-operation inspection, set-up, safe operation, and post-operation tasks, you can ensure that you use an electric scissor lift in a safe and productive manner. Always remember to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines and receive proper training before operating any heavy machinery.