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Facelift 31st Anniversary

What is a scissor lift?

A scissor lift in action

A scissor lift is a machine that lifts a person or several people up in to the air. It gets the name from the way the lifting arms under the 'platform' that you stand on are connected together like scissors.

They are a very safe way of lifting people up to work at height. On board, you're surrounded by a railing and wear a harness which attaches to the machine, so even if an accident happened and you somehow fell over the railing, the harness would stop you falling to the ground. They are very stable, and give you plenty of space to carry the things you need so you don't have to go up and down to change tools.

Scissor lifts are straightforward to drive and use, although you should get trained on how to use them safely. Once you know how to judge clearances it's fundamentally a matter of driving under where you need to work, getting in the machine, and pressing the button to get you up in the air.

These machines are popular in factories and large shops as they are much safer to use than a long ladder, and give you plenty of space to work from. Some have 'extending cages', which means the platform you work from can slide out to become a bit bigger, and this can help you stretch out over something that's in the way and let you work without having to reach out dangerously.

There are lots of pictures of scissor lifts in our picture library