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Hydraulic Lift Operation Safety

People all across the country enjoy the benefits provided by the hydraulic lift. However, there are also thousands of injuries each year simply because someone was not paying attention or did not follow up on maintenance of the lift. If you have a hydraulic lift at your workplace, it is imperative that certain safety guidelines are followed, some of which include:
  • It is important that you know what your lift and adaptors load limit is. Be careful that you do not overload the lift and if you are unsure what the load limit is, you can either contact the manufacturer and ask, or check the manufacturers name plate where the information should be posted.
  • The center of gravity should also be followed closely to what the manufacturer recomends
  • Always make sure you have proper overhead clearance. Additionally, check that attachments, vehicle signs, and antennas are not in the way.
  • Be sure that prior to the vehicle being raised, the doors, trunk, and hood are closed securely
  • Prior to being raised, make sure there is no one standing closer than six feet from the lift
When it comes to placing the vehicle on the hydraulic lift, you need to consider the following safety precautions:
  • Make sure the ignition is off, the doors are closed, overhead obstructions are cleared, and the transmission is in neutral
  • Double check that the automatic chock devices are in position and then when the lift is raised, observe the chocks
  • Put pads or adaptors in the right position under the contact points that have been recommended
  • The lift should be raised just until the vehicles wheels are about one foot off the ground
  • If contact with the vehicle is uneven or it appears that the vehicle is not sitting secure, carefully lower the lift and readjust
  • Never move the lift quickly at the top. Instead, raise it very slowly for about one foot
  • Any mechanical locking devices should be locked or jack stands used
  • Take a minute to consider potential problems that might cause a vehicle to slip, i.e., the vehicle has some type of heavy cargo
  • Pay attention when walking under a vehicle that is up on the hydraulic lift
  • Be sure you wear the appropriate safety gear when working on a vehicle held up by a lift. For instance, you need goggles to provide protection from leaking fluids, a hard hat should something fall, steel toed shoes, again should something fall, and so on.
  • Before you enter the vehicle, always make sure it has been lowered to the ground
When lowering a vehicle, these safety tips would be beneficial:
  • When the lift is being lowered, make sure everyone is standing at least six feet away
  • Be sure there are no jacks, tools, equipment, and so on left under the lift
  • Always lower the vehicle down slowly and smoothly
  • If needed, remove the chocks and adjust the arms or other types of supports
Finally, when you do use your hydraulic lift, there are specific things that you should avoid, which include the following. DO NOT:
  • Jam the dead stick control open
  • Leave the controls while the lift is still in motion
  • Stand directly in front of the vehicle or in the bay
  • Work on the vehicle when being raised or lowered
  • Lower the lift down onto supporting jacks
  • Rock the vehicle while on the lift
  • Lower the vehicle until people, materials, and tools are clear
  • Rely on hoisting equipment
  • Use wooden blocks

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