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Safety Tips for Lifts

Automotive lifts are critical to the operation and profitability of your business, and the safe use of lifts is critical to preventing employee injuries and damage to customers’ vehicles. By operating lifts correctly, you can ensure that your shop is profitable, productive and safe.


For safe lift operation:

  • Only trained employees should be allowed to use the lift.
    If you have several types or brands of lifts, employees must be
    trained on each type of lift they’ll use. Training should include:

  • Proper spotting of the vehicle,
  • Use of the operating controls,
  • Understanding the lift capacity,
  • Proper use of jack stands, and
  • Proper use of safety devices.
  • Enforce proper housekeeping procedures. The lift area
    should be free of grease, oil, tools, equipment, trash and other

  • A daily inspection of the lift should be completed prior
    to its use.
    Safety devices, operating controls, lift arms
    and other critical parts should be inspected prior to using the
  • All maintenance and repairs of the lift should be completed
    by following the manufacturer’s requirements.
    Lift repair
    parts should meet or exceed OEM specifications, and repairs should
    only be completed by a qualified lift technician.

  • The vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations should be used
    for spotting and lifting the vehicle.
    Lift the vehicle 12
    to 18 inches and check for stability by pushing up and down on
    the vehicle.

  • Prior to working under the lift, check to make sure the
    lift’s safety devices have engaged.

  • Some vehicle maintenance and repair activities may cause
    the vehicle to shift.
    Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines
    when performing these operations. The use of jack stands or alternate
    lift points may be required when completing some repairs.
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  • Never raise the lift with someone in the vehicle or on
    the lift.

  • Before the vehicle is lowered, check to make sure the area
    is free of bystanders, tools and equipment.

  • After lowering the lift, reposition the lift arms and supports
    prior to removing the vehicle.

  • If you have any questions about the safe operation of the
    lift, consult the operation manual.

    It’s Up to You

    Operator error, lack of training and lack of maintenance are the
    primary causes of accidents involving automotive lifts, so it’s
    up to you to make sure your employees are properly trained and
    your lifts are properly maintained.

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    Many lift manufacturers and lift maintenance contractors will
    provide training to you and your employees at no cost – you should
    take advantage of these expert services. Protect your profitability,
    your employees and your customers by operating your lifts safely
    every time.

    Information provided courtesy of Universal Underwriters Group.

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