There are many risks associated with not wearing a seat belt while operating a counterbalance Forklift Truck, with overturning posing the biggest threat of operators being crushed. When a forklift overturns, the safest place for an operator is in the operator's compartment with the seatbelt buckled. This ensures the operator cannot try to jump out or be dragged out underneath the forklift if it tips. It is therefore of paramount importance that seat belt laws and regulations are strictly followed when operating a forklift truck. A sequential seat belt-travel motion interlock uses state of the art technology to ensure that the operator is buckled up before travel motion is possible.
ISO (the International Organization for Standardization) is a worldwide federation of national standards bodies. The ISO 3691 series has been developed to provide globally relevant International Standards for industrial trucks. The Australian Standard for forklifts, AS2359, is based on ISO 3691. The ISO 3691.8 technical specification safety requirements for Australia in regards to seat belts for counterbalance forklifts are as follows:
Clause 4.1.10 Operator restraint
- The operator's seat shall have a lateral support device that reduces the risk of entrapment of the operator's torso between the truck and the ground in the event of a tip-over, provided the operator wears a properly adjusted lap-type seat belt.
- Where seatbelts are fitted, they shall be interlocked to prevent the truck from travel motion unless the seatbelt is buckled. In addition, the seatbelt interlock shall include the sequencing/logic of the seatbelt switch with a seat pressure switch. The weight of the operator on the seat shall be detected prior to the seatbelt switch being engaged. In addition to the seatbelt interlock sequencing, it shall be linked to the neutral switch and the handbrake to ensure it is applied before the truck can be started. The system shall be tamper-proof.
It is not just on the open road that seat belts can save lives, ISO and Australian Standard requirements for forklift trucks should continually be monitored. All new Mitsubishi Counterbalance Forklift Trucks and Vulcan Heavy Equipment delivered by MLA Holdings are compliant with these new ISO safety standards.
Information for this article was sourced from; www.iso.org.
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