What Use Is A Scissor Lift Or Boom Lift Qualification?

Scissor Lift

Scissor lifts and boom lifts are aerial platforms that make it possible to work safely at height. They are frequently called EWPs (elevated work platforms) or MEWPs (mobile elevating work platforms).

They are typically classed as high-risk plant and, therefore, periodic training for operators is either mandated in health and safety legislation, or it is strongly recommended.

Scissor lift training takes around half a day to complete and will cover risk management, personal protective equipment, plus the operation of the machine.

Employment prospects for operators are reasonable as there’s always construction and maintenance occurring.

If you have an EWP qualification and you are looking for work, the following tasks are typical for these machines.

Construction work: Both scissor lifts and boom lifts are commonly used in construction for tasks such as installing cladding, roofing, or windows.

Building maintenance: With some EWPs capable of reaching more than 20 metres, these lifts are ideal for maintenance tasks on tall buildings, such as painting, cleaning windows, and repairing facades.

Installing lighting and electrical fixtures: Electricians often use EWPs to install or repair lighting fixtures, electrical wiring, or signage in high-ceiling areas.

Tree trimming and pruning: Arborists use boom lifts to access tall trees for trimming, pruning, or removal of branches.

Warehouse operations: Scissor lifts are used in warehouses for stocking or retrieving items from high shelves safely. They are an alternative to forklifts and order pickers in certain scenarios.

Film production: Boom lifts are frequently used in the film industry for setting up lighting and camera equipment for aerial shots or scenes requiring elevated perspectives.

Event setup: Event planners utilize EWPs for setting up stages, lighting, and decorations in large venues or outdoor spaces.

Facility maintenance: Facilities such as sports stadiums or arenas use EWPs for maintenance tasks such as changing light bulbs, cleaning, or repairing structures. Factories use EWPs to assess and repair pipes and cables.

Roofing projects: Roofers use EWPs to transport materials and workers safely to elevated areas for roof repair or replacement. They may use an EWP instead of having to erect scaffolding as the time required for setup, and the costs, are much less.

Sign installation and maintenance: Workers use EWPs to install or repair large signs on buildings or billboards, and gantry signs over motorways and roads

HVAC installation and repair: Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) technicians use scissor lifts and boom lifts to install or repair systems located on rooftops or high ceilings.

Painting projects: Painters use EWPs to reach high walls or ceilings for painting projects in both residential and commercial buildings.

Window washing: Professional window cleaners utilise EWPs to access windows on medium-height buildings safely; high-rise buildings often have a bosun’s chair which is a platform that is lowered from the roof.

Aircraft maintenance: reaching the wings and fuselage of a large aircraft requires precision lifting. EWPs carry less risk of dropping something on the aircraft from a height than installing and uninstalling scaffolding.

Installation of security cameras or sensors: Technicians use EWPs to install security cameras or sensors in hard-to-reach areas for surveillance purposes.

Outdoor maintenance: Landscapers use lifts for tasks such as trimming tall hedges, accessing plants on steep banks, or maintaining outdoor lighting fixtures.

Bridge inspection and maintenance: Engineers use boom lifts to inspect and maintain bridges, viaducts, or elevated roadways.

Power line maintenance: Utility workers use boom lifts to access power lines for maintenance, repair, or inspection. These might be off-road EWPs where the power lines pass through rural properties

Rescue operations: Rescue personnel may use boom lifts for rescue operations, such as reaching people trapped in high-rise buildings or accessing elevated areas during wildfires.

Gutter cleaning: Cleaning gutters on tall buildings or structures can be done safely and efficiently using EWPs

Stadium and arena setup: Event staff use scissor lifts and boom lifts to set up seating, scoreboards, or lighting rigs in large stadiums or arenas for concerts, sporting events, or other performances.

As long as you get the right EWP for the job, they provide a safe way to work at height indoors or outdoors (subject to weather and ground conditions). However, there are real risks, specifically that of tipping the EWP over. Maintaining currency in your qualification is important so that you maintain the right to work with the machines on specific sites.