Scissor lift safety warning following fatal overturns

Date published: 07 January 2011

JLG 500RTS and 400 RTS scissor lifts

HSENI would like to bring the recent Safety Alert issued by HSE to the attention of users of scissor lifts in Northern Ireland.

Users of certain types of scissor lifts are being advised to make daily safety checks after five people were killed in three separate incidents when they overturned.

A safety alert has been issued by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) to warn service and maintenance engineers and those in the construction industry who use, or lease out, JLG 500RTS and 400 RTS scissor lifts, to ensure that safety critical components are working correctly.

In all three fatal overturn incidents in Europe over the past four years:

  • the oscillating axle which allows the machine to be driven on uneven ground with the platform in the transport position failed to lock when the platform was raised
  • the lift/drive interlock system did not work allowing the platform to be elevated above 6.7metres without the stabilisers being deployed

Owners of both these types of scissor lifts are being advised to ensure that the oscillating axle lockout system and the lift/drive cut out switches are checked for correct functioning (in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations) before the machine is next used and that users complete daily inspections and function testing of both elements

HSE (GB) inspector Richard Clarke said:

“Though this safety alert is primarily to warn those who own and use these specific  models of scissor lift, and those with similar interlock systems, it should serve as a reminder to all users of mobile elevating work platforms that there is a need to regularly maintain, inspect and test the equipment. This isn’t just recommended by manufacturers but is also required by law.

“Used as directed and with all the necessary checks, we continue to recommend the appropriate use of mobile elevating work platforms as a tool to enable work at height to be carried out safely.”

The safety alert can be viewed in full on the HSE (GB website:


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