How to Use Scissor Lifts: A Comprehensive Guide

In this guide, we delve into how to use scissor lifts safely and effectively. So if you want to check the process click on the link above!

When it comes to material handling equipment, lifts are a versatile and indispensable tool. They’re commonly used in various industries, including construction, manufacturing, and maintenance, to elevate workers and materials to different heights. These machines are valuable for making tasks more efficient. In this guide, we’ll delve into how to use these machines safely and effectively.

Equipment Hire and Scissor Lift Rental

Before we get into the details, it’s essential to discuss equipment hire. Scissor lifts are heavy equipment, and not everyone owns one. In most cases, you’ll need to hire one from a machine rental company. Heavy equipment hire and scissor lift rental services provide a cost-effective solution for using these equipment without the financial burden of purchasing one.

Safety Guidelines

Safety should always be the top priority when operating any heavy equipment. Whether you’re an operator or an on-site overseer, it’s crucial to ensure the safe use of lifts. Here are some essential safety tips:

Adequate Training

Before operating a lift, ensure that you or your team have received the proper training and hold the necessary certifications. Lift operators must understand the machine’s controls, potential hazards, and safety protocols.

Inspect Before Use

Always conduct a thorough inspection upon delivery. Check for signs of wear, damage, or malfunction, and report any issues before use. Regular maintenance checks by the hire company are essential for ensuring the machine’s safety.

Use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Ensure that all operators and nearby personnel wear the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE). This may include hard hats, safety boots, high-visibility vests, and protective gloves. Proper PPE helps prevent injuries in the workplace.

Know Your Environment

Familiarise yourself with the worksite. Understanding potential hazards, such as uneven terrain, overhead obstacles, and other individuals at proximity, is crucial for safe navigation and operation.

Maneuver with Caution

Always operate at a slow and steadfast pace, particularly when ascending or descending. Moreover, operators should remain attentive to their surroundings and the machine’s equilibrium. 

In this guide, we delve into how to use scissor lifts safely and effectively.

Operating a Scissor Lift

Now let’s learn how to use a hydraulic lift. The process is not difficult, but it requires understanding the machine’s controls and safety features.

1. Understanding How it Works

Scissor lifts are hydraulic-powered equipment. When you turn on the power source, it begins to fill the cylinder(s) with hydraulic fluid. This fluid is then pushed from one area to another, causing the cylinder to expand. As a result, the legs of the scissor lift push apart, elevating the platform vertically above the base. The controls usually include a joystick or toggle switch for raising and lowering the platform.

2. Turning on a Scissor Lift

Lifts are equipped with controls that allow operators to turn left and right. The controls for horizontal movement are similar to those of a traditional lift, with a steering wheel or lever to guide the machine.

It’s important to practise turning the lift in a controlled environment before attempting to navigate it in a crowded or complex workspace. Turning too quickly can affect the lift’s balance, so a gradual and cautious approach is recommended.

3. Common Misconceptions

One common question people have is whether operating a scissor lift is difficult. Learning how to use it is not difficult, but it requires a fundamental understanding of the equipment’s controls, safety procedures, and a cautious approach. By following proper training and adhering to safety guidelines, anyone can learn to operate it effectively and safely. Remember, it’s all about being attentive, informed, and prioritizing safety while using this valuable piece of material handling equipment.

Licensing Requirements in Australia

If you’re planning to operate a lift in Australia, it’s important to be aware of the licensing requirements. All personnel must be trained and licensed. You will need to complete a nationally recognised training course with a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) and hold a valid license. 

The type of license you need depends on the height you’ll be working at. For lifts under 11 metres, you need an EWP Operator Ticket (Yellow Card), which is a nationally recognised license. You are not legally obligated to hold a license for this. Nevertheless, it’s crucial to understand that the yellow card is, in essence, equivalent to a license according to the PCBU WHS Act 2012. If you’ll be operating platforms taller than 11 metres, you’ll need a WorkCover High-Risk Work License issued for the state you’re in. These training courses usually take up to 6 hours and involve a combination of practical use and theory and to apply for them, you need to be at least 18 years of age.

The courses cover a range of topics, including navigating both indoors and outdoors, operational checks and equipment inspections, identification of potential hazards, and the safe use of the equipment. By obtaining the necessary license and training, you ensure that you’re operating the equipment safely and in compliance with Australian regulations. If you have prior experience with EWPs but lack formal training, you could potentially obtain a license upon verification of your understanding of their safe operation by a certified training provider. A refresher training is also recommended for safety.


In conclusion, scissor lifts are invaluable tools used across various industries for material handling and accessing elevated areas. Operating them is not a complex task, but it necessitates a clear understanding of the equipment and strict adherence to safety guidelines. In Australia, there are essential licensing requirements in place to ensure safe operation. By diligently following these guidelines and seeking the necessary training, you can optimize equipment rental while upholding a secure working environment. Always make it a practice to consult the manufacturer’s guidelines and adhere to the rental company’s instructions regarding the specific industrial tools and machinery you are using. Safety remains paramount in fostering both a productive and accident-free work environment.

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