Fall arrest characteristics of a scissor lift.
Harris-JR; Powers-JR Jr.; Pan-CS; Boehler-B
J Saf Res 2010 Jun; 41(3):213-220
Problem: Census of Fatal Occupational Injuries (CFOI) data indicate 306 aerial lift fatalities between 1992-2003. Seventy-eight of these fatalities specifically involved scissor lifts. Members of standards committees have requested that NIOSH conduct research to determine the effects of safety-control practices related to using fall-protection systems for scissor lifts. Method: This research examined the structural and dynamic stability of a scissor lift subjected to fall arrest forces. This was accomplished by conducting drop tests from a scissor lift. Anchorage locations evaluated included manufacturer-supplied anchorage points on the scissor lift platform as well as mid-rail and top-rail locations. Results: Preliminary drop tests determined that a 2400 lb maximum arrest force (MAF) could be generated by dropping 169 lb through a fall height of 36" using NystronŽ rope as a lanyard. The scissor lift maintained structural and dynamic stability for all drop tests when fully extended and on an incline. Discussion: Anchoring a fall arrest system to either the mid-rail or top-rail is not a recommended practice by the scissor lift manufacturer. Anchor points are provided on the platform floor of the scissor lift for this purpose. However, our results demonstrate that the mid-rail and top-rail absorb substantial energy from an arrested fall and may have potential as appropriate anchorage points. Impact to Industry: Employers and workers should consider implementing fall arrest systems when using scissor lifts as part of their overall risk mitigation plan for fall injury prevention.
Injury-prevention; Construction; Construction-industry; Construction-workers; Workers; Accident-rates; Accident-prevention; Accidents; Equipment-design; Statistical-analysis; Safety-practices;
Author Keywords: Scissor lift; Aerial lift; Fall arrest
James R. Harris, Research Safety Engineer, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 1095 Willowdale Road, MS G800, Morgantown, WV 26505, USA
Journal of Safety Research