Safety is paramount and disregarding it because of timing or finances is never a good idea and can have horrific results. You might get away with it 999 times out of 1,000 but even that’s not a record to be proud of. In October, construction worker Hernan Murillo fell to his death in a scissor-lift accident at a Frito-Lay North America facility in Irving, Texas. Two other workers were badly injured as the workers fell about 30 feet in what appears to have been a ladder collision during some construction-related work.
Scissor lifts, especially when fully extended, have long been a cause for concern due to problems such as standing on or rolling over uneven ground, overloading, and other potentially hazardous issues. There have been other instances of workers tragically losing their lives from scissor lifts; in 2016 a worker in Oklahoma City died after a fall. An investigation revealed that the worker, who probably thought the lift was in up and down mode, had left it in forward and back mode, and the lift rolled off its platform. He was tied to the lift for safety reasons and was therefore unable to get out in time.
The Center for Construction Research and Training report an average of 26 deaths per year due to construction workers falling from various types of aerial lifts. The organization works to combat that and provides safety and health training in Spanish and English including basic safety, confined space entry, and asbestos and lead abatement; they will train your trainer as well to deliver this information to your staff
In the recent incident, Mr. Murillo was employed by Walker Industrial, a company that provides automation and other industrial services. There was no report on what type of work was being done at the time of the incident, but Walker Industrial is investigating the accident and has offered its deepest sympathies to everyone impacted by the loss of Mr. Murillo. An OSHA spokesman also stated that there would be an investigation.
If you are working with scissor lifts, consult some of the following for safety information: Statement of Best Practices for Workplace Risk Assessment and Aerial Work Platform Equipment Selection, published by several different organizations including the Association of Equipment Manufactures (AEM). Along with that, if you are purchasing or renting a lift, make sure to get familiar with the safety instructions, also consult with any facility you work with for any site-specific aerial lift rules.