Pennsylvania workers know scissors lifts are a good way to move them around or up and down during the course of their jobs in such industries as construction and manufacturing. Using them improperly, however, can result in on-the-job injuries and fatalities.

A one-year investigation by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration turned up 10 fatalities and more than 20 injuries that could have been prevented that involved scissors lifts. The federal agency said most of these accidents were the result of employers failing to stabilize and safely position the movable platforms and to provide adequate fall protection. OSHA said employers need to assess workplace conditions for hazards and then determine which equipment to use on the job. When employers determine scissors lifts will work best, they should make sure that only employees trained in their operation should be used.

OSHA further noted that scissors lifts should be maintained properly according to manufacturer specifications. Employers should train workers in the safe operation of the equipment and make sure they wear personal protective gear as needed.

All these measures are designed to cut down on the number of workplace accidents, but accidents will still happen. Injuries can turn into a financial hardship for workers and their families. Pennsylvania workers who are injured while using scissors lifts may be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits to help ease the financial burden that results. Benefits can include lost wages, medical expenses and retraining if the worker is unable to return to his pre-injury position. Families of workers who are killed using scissors lifts may be eligible for burial benefits and compensation for income the family will lose if the worker was supporting this family. In the event that a claim is disputed or denied, a workers’ compesnsation attorney can often provide assistance at a subsequent hearing.