ANSI MH29.1-2020: Industrial Scissors Lifts

Scissor lift at construction site adhering to safety requirements specified in ANSI MH29.1-2020.

Due to their safety features and stability, scissor lifts are a popular type of mobile elevated work platform at construction and renovation sites. When not used properly, however, scissor lifts can present a serious hazard to workers, which is why ANSI MH29.1-2020: Safety Requirements For Industrial Scissors Lifts exists.

What Is an Industrial Scissor Lift?

A scissor lift is a mobile supported scaffold work platform that is used for interior maintenance work, such as ceiling construction, painting, and sign hanging, in a variety of industries like construction, retail, automotive, film, and manufacturing. Its purpose is to lift materials and workers, who are guarded by a railed platform, vertically to the desired working heights, ranging from 19 to 59 feet. The X-pattern of the crisscrossing braces (pantograph) compresses and extends it, enabling vertical movement. Since a scissor lift can collapse and be easily stored, it is a true rival to the traditional ladder, and it can hold multiple workers at once unlike an aerial forklift.

What is ANSI MH29.1-2020?

ANSI MH29.1-2020 applies to industrial scissors lifts that are raised and lowered by means of hydraulic, pneumatic, or mechanical actuation for commercial applications on firm and level surfaces. These industrial scissors lifts specified in this American National Standard are either stationary or mobile and used to position, feed, transfer, load, or unload materials or personnel.  

Here Are the Objectives in ANSI MH29.1-2020:

  • Prevention of personal injuries and accidents
  • Criteria for design, manufacture, performance, and operation
  • Understanding of respective responsibilities among designers, manufacturers, owners/users, and operators
Hydraulic lifting platform at construction site

What Are the Different Types of Scissor Lifts?

Scissor posts are powered by various fuels (hydraulic, diesel, gas, liquid propane, electric, air pressure) that help the machine operate the lift and move the platform up and down on level surfaces of uneven, rough terrain. Here are the five types of scissor lifts:

  1. Hydraulic
  2. Diesel
  3. Electrical
  4. Rough terrain
  5. Pneumatic

Considering the lift strength, height, load stability, loading method, travels, and platform size are all important elements in picking the right type of industrial scissor lift.

Can a Scissor Lift Fall Over?

Yes, if the load is off-center or if a worker is leaning out of the lift, it is not difficult for a scissor lift to topple over. Factors, such as operator error, adverse weather for outdoor worksites, machine fault or malfunction, getting knocked by another object (e.g., machine), and not being adjusted for the terrain are the biggest causes of a scissor lift falling over.

Here Are Some Safety Precautions ANSI MH29.1-2020 Mentions

Before adjustments and repairs are started on the scissor lift, the following precautions shall be taken as applicable:

  • Remove the load from the platform.
  • Lower platform to the full down position.
  • If possible, secure a maintenance device or blocking to prevent unintended platform movement.
  • Relieve system pressure from all circuits before loosening or removing any components.
  • Ensure all controls are in the “off’ position.
  • Ensure all operating features are secured from accidental motion from brakes, blocks, or other means.
  • Disconnect power and follow established control of hazardous energy policies.
  • Follow precautions and directions as specified by the manufacturer.

ANSI MH29.1-2020: Safety Requirements For Industrial Scissors Lifts is available on the ANSI Webstore.

Scissor lift with scaffolding on its platform carrying heavy load at a construction site, adhering to safety precautions in ANSI MH29.1-2020.
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One thought on “ANSI MH29.1-2020: Industrial Scissors Lifts
  1. We are a small company that purchased a used scissor lift for installing pallet racking. Do I need to get my scissor lift professionally inspected/certified?

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