What Is a Scissor Lift and Its Uses in the Construction Industry?

What is a scissor lift? Essentially, a scissor lift is a type of powered construction equipment designed to make high-altitude work in a construction site safer and more efficient. Simply put, it provides workers with a stable platform that can raise itself to a considerable height.

This platform is usually enclosed with safety rails and gates to ensure that the workers do not accidentally fall off in the performance of their work. The controls to the raising and lowering mechanism are also integrated into the passenger platform, which allows the workers on board to adjust their ascent or descent without having to relay instructions to an operator on the ground.

The name “scissor lift” comes from the distinct appearance of the platform raising mechanism, which resembles a series of metal bars placed on top of one another in a crisscrossing scissor-like fashion. This specific arrangement is what allows the scissor lift to raise its platform safely and reliably, while also giving it the ability to compact itself into a flat, low profile for easier storage.

All these features make the scissor lift essential for any construction site. Therefore, managers and supervisors should always ensure that they have a scissor lift always at their disposal on the field, whether by purchasing one or through a scissor lift rental.

With that said, what are the specific uses of a scissor lift, specifically in the construction industry? The following is a list of its most notable uses.

  • Maintenance. A scissor lift can be used to assist with basic maintenance work at a construction site, especially those that need to be performed at certain heights. This may include changing light bulbs or fixtures, affixing or changing warning signs, or repairing any damage to the ceiling or the upper floors of the building under construction.
  • Material delivery. It can be also used to deliver materials or tools to construction workers already positioned or working at an elevated position. By using a scissor lift instead of a ladder, the material can be delivered much more safely and efficiently.
  • Scaffolding work. A scissor lift can be used to help erect or repair scaffolding, especially when the scaffolding reaches a height it is too high to access, even via a ladder. The same scissor lift can also transport workers to a higher floor in the erected scaffolding, as well as bring them down to ground level quickly and safely.
  • Tree removal or pruning. Removing or pruning tree branches from obstructing construction efforts, such as while erecting scaffolding or attaching electrical wires, can be facilitated using a scissor lift.
  • Cosmetic work. Assisting with detailed cosmetic work on ceilings and walls, such as painting, sculpting, or the application of tile mosaics or reliefs, can be done with a scissor lift. It can also allow construction workers to quickly touch up specific details on these cosmetic applications at the client’s request.
  • Cable installation and setup. A scissor lift can also assist with helping with discreet cable installations, i.e. routing cables along floors or ceilings to ensure that they are out of the way.
  • Rescue. Finally, a scissor lift can help with rescuing construction workers from an unsafe situation, such as an upper floor that’s on fire, or scaffolding about to collapse. It can also be used to retrieve an injured worker who is unable to descend to ground level.

A scissor lift’s versatility makes it essential in the construction industry

Working at heights is an inevitable part of the construction industry, and it always carries with it a certain amount of physical risk.

Moreover, workers often must take a lot of time to safely reach the height their work requires. This can be inefficient if done manually or with simple tools like a ladder, especially if deadlines are looming.

Checking online would help you look for the best equipment for hire offers.

By utilizing a scissor lift, all types of at-height work can be performed much more safely and efficiently. Construction site managers, foremen, and supervisors would do well to seriously consider buying or renting a scissor lift for their current project.