Lift safety

Garage Equipment Association boss highlights hidden dangers of lifts

Published:  01 June, 2010

Dave Garratt, chief executive of the Garage Equipment Association (GEA), has spoken out with potentially life-saving advice on the correct operation of lifts in the workshop.

Never stand on or under the vehicle while the lift is being operated

Never climb onto the vehicle lift or the vehicle itself when the lift is raised

In the event of a malfunction or when work is finished, always fully lower the vehicle lift and disconnect the power using the mains switch

When welding is being done to vehicles on the lift, arrange proper earth continuity.

Do not work on or with equipment if you are unsure of its safety

Do not use 1 or 2 of the 4 lifting arms on a 2 post lift to raise a vehicle

Do not override any safety devices in order to operate the lift

Basic safety advice for 2-post lifts

Recommended loading procedure for symmetrical 2-post vehicle lifts

Drive vehicle centrally between the lift posts, park the vehicle so that both posts are in line with the vehicle's centre point.

Position the lifting arms under vehicle so that each lifting pad is correctly positioned under the recommended lifting point. Please Note: lifting pad extensions and/or chassis adaptors should be used depending on vehicle specifications.

Raise lift arms, until one lift arm pad touches a lifting point on the vehicle.

To ensure a level lift, the height of remaining pads should be adjusted to ensure that each is in contact with each of the vehicle lifting points.

Raise lift arms to take the weight of the vehicle (wheels just off the workshop floor).

Make a further visual check of position of lifting pads and check that all 4 of the arm locking devices have fully engaged

When satisfied pad positions are correct and arm locks are engaged, rock vehicle as a final check for stability.

The vehicle can now be fully raised.

Recommended loading procedure for asymmetrical 2-post vehicle lifts

Drive vehicle centrally between the lift posts, park the vehicle so that both posts are in line with the vehicles steering wheel.

Position the lifting arms under vehicle so that each lifting pad is correctly positioned under the recommended lifting point. Note: lifting pad extensions and/or chassis adaptors should be used depending on vehicle specifications.

Raise lift arms, until one lift arm pad touches a lifting point on the vehicle.

To ensure a level lift, the height of remaining pads should be adjusted to ensure that each is in contact with each of the vehicle lifting points.

Raise lift arms to take the weight of the vehicle (wheels just off the workshop floor).

Make a further visual check of position of lifting pads and check that all 4 of the arm locking devices have fully engaged

When satisfied pad positions are correct and arm locks are engaged, rock vehicle as a final check for stability

The vehicle can now be fully raised

Basic safety advice for 4-post lifts

4-post lifts are known as platform lifts. Positioning a vehicle on a platform lift is relatively easy but care should be taken to position the vehicle centrally so that the near-side and off-side wheels are evenly positioned in the centre and not overhanging the edge of the platform.

Recommended loading procedure when using platform vehicle lift

Drive vehicle centrally between posts onto lift platforms (ensure vehicle is positioned centrally)

Place chocks behind vehicle wheels if required

Raise lift platforms to the required height

Engage wheel-free system if required (where fitted)

Where wheel-free system is used, lift platforms should be lowered, leaving the vehicle supported by the wheel free system

To disengage system, raise lift platforms until they support the vehicle once again, the wheel-free pawls will then release automatically

Before lowering the lift, ensure the workshop floor around the lift area is clear of any obstructions

Use the lowering device (specific to this lift) to safely lower the lift to the floor

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