- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 10 Feb 2019
Scissor lifts are a type of aerial work platform (AWP) or mobile elevated work platform (MEWP), used to provide temporary access at height. They are commonly used for temporary maintenance purposes and to undertake construction work. Charles Larson, of the USA, first patented the scissor lift in 1963.
Unlike some other types of elevated platform, scissor lift platforms can only move vertically, elevated by linked, folding supports in an ‘X’ pattern, known as a pantograph. Pressure is applied to the external side of the lowest set of supports, which elongates the criss-crossing supports and raises the platform.
Scissor lifts are usually diesel-powered. The platform be lowered without using the power system, by releasing the hydraulic or pneumatic pressure.
They are typically fitted with wheels allowing them to be relocated.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Cherry picker.
- Construction plant.
- Construction tools.
- Forklift truck.
- Lift table.
- Lifting device.
- Lifting platform.
- Mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs).
- Post lift.
- Types of crane.
- Work at height.
- Working platform.
- Working platforms for tracked plant: good practice guide to the design, installation, maintenance and repair of ground-supported working platforms.
Featured articles and news
A quality perspective.
If buildings were people, they would be just starting to walk on two legs.
Air filtration and clean air standards.
The Dukes of Normandy and the second world war.
Conserving structures in historic designed landscapes.
Online platform to showcase acoustic solutions.
The drivers of value and how it is measured.
Do you know your Ionic from your Doric?
Construction output has been stronger than anticipated.
But blame is directed at the construction industry.
Health effects on children and young people.