Working Platforms on Fork Lift Trucks

Working Platforms on Fork Lift Trucks 

Short safety talk on working safely when using fork lift trucks as working platforms.

Author: Star Refrigeration


                                                                                                            Working Platforms on Fork Lift Trucks

Although fork-lift trucks are primarily designed for the purpose of materials’ handling, a fork-lift
truck fitted with a suitably designed working platform can provide a safer alternative to other
means of access. The use of this equipment is covered by the Provision and Use of Work
Equipment Regulations 1998 (PUWER) and the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment
Regulations 1998 (LOLER).

Platform Rules

1. Do not exceed the safe working load of the platform or truck.  The weight of the platform, together with its load of people, tools, materials, etc should not be more than half the actual capacity of the truck.

2. The platform should be free draining and slip resistant, be fitted with 100mm toe-boards, a top guardrail at 1000mm to 1100mm from the platform floor and an intermediate guardrail mid-way between the top rail and toe board. (Mesh or similar material may replace the intermediate rail).

3. Any gate provided should open inwards, upwards or sideways and automatically return to the closed position.  The gate should be self-locking in the closed position.

4. Platforms should have fork pockets on their underside, which will accommodate the fork arms spaced at the widest practicable distance apart.

5. A positive locking device should be included on the platform to retain it on the truck when in use.

6. Screens or guards should be fitted to the platform to separate people from any trapping, crushing or shearing points on the truck.

7. A safety harness anchorage should be available on all working platforms.

Truck Rules

1. LOLER 1998 makes it a legal requirement for a competent person to inspect all equipment used for lifting people at not more than 6 monthly intervals.  This applies to both the platform and the particular fork-lift truck being used.  Many clients may restrict the lifting of people to one particular, regularly inspected truck. Ask to see proof of inspections before being lifted. Your manager may already have this proof.

2. The truck should have dual lifting chains.

3. The truck should not be moved whilst the working platform is elevated.

4. The parking brake should be applied; and where applicable, the transmission placed in neutral before raising the platform.

5. The truck operator should remain at the controls of the truck whilst the platform s in the elevated position.  He is your only means of escape in an emergency.

6. The truck should only be used on firm, well-maintained and level surfaces. Gradients and uneven ground can affect the stability of the truck.

Safe System of Work Rules

1. The law requires lift truck operators to be trained.  Ask for proof of training to CITB, RTITB or similar standard.

2. Ensure that the platform is attached securely to the truck before each use.

3. Ensure that you agree an appropriate method of communication with the driver. Radio communication may be required in noisy environments.

4. Ensure that the driver knows not to leave his position, not to drive with the platform elevated and to apply the parking brake.

5. Ensure that warning cones, lights or signs are positioned around the truck working area, in particular,  where there is any danger of other vehicles or pedestrians coming into close proximity, or of objects falling from the platform.  If necessary other adjacent operations may have to stop.

6. It is not appropriate for you to leave or enter the platform whilst it is elevated.

7. It is not advisable to lean out of the platform when it is raised and, so far as is reasonably practicable, the platform should be positioned to prevent the need for people to lean out.

8. If there is a need to lean out then they should wear a suitable harness and lanyards attached to one of the platform harness anchorage points.

9. Special precautions may be necessary to ensure that you are not endangered by high-level hazards such as exposed live electrical conductors.

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Last modified: Tuesday, 18 February 2014, 12:29 PM