Many serious accidents have occurred when people fail to use a correctly designed and constructed work platform, either from falls or being trapped by moving parts of the forklift elevating system.
Standing on the forklift tynes, on pallets or in stillages, are common causes of falls from height, while the improper use of a well-designed work platform can also result in serious injury.
Clause 142 (3) (d) of the OHS Regulation 2001 states that: Persons are not to be lifted or suspended by any plant or its attachment (other than plant specifically designed for the lifting or suspending of persons), unless:
- The use of another method of lifting or suspending is not reasonably practicable
- A suitable and adequate personnel box or carrier, designed for the purpose, is used and securely attached to the plant, and
- Means are provided by which the people being lifted or suspended can have a safe outlet from the personnel box, carrier or plant in the event of a failure in the normal operation of the plant.
*If you use a separate work platform or box fitted to a forklift truck then you must ensure that people in the box are securely attached, stay within the work box, are wearing safety harnesses if working at height, and can exit safety from the workbox in the event of mishaps.
The following measures must also be put into place when using work platforms or boxes:
- Forklift trucks are equipped with flow restrictors or similar to prevent free fall in the event of a hose failure.
- Work boxes should only be attached to compliant lift trucks with a load capacity plate clearly stating which attachments may be used.
- Lift truck should only be operated on hard level surfaces and kept stabilised at all times while lifting people.
- All work must be carried out while standing on the deck of the platform, not on a ladder or other object.
- The operator of the forklift is to remain at the controls at all times during use of platform.
- Workers are trained how to use work boxes safely and regular safety checks are performed before each use.
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