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#151324 - 10/25/06 09:15 AM Forklifts as personnel lifts??
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
The place down the road from where I work, I wired for high-bay lights and various other things a few years back, suffered it's first workplace fatality today.
Apparently, from what one of the supervisors was saying, they needed to replace one of the Metal-Halide lamps because it was nearing the end of it's life.
When I wired and installed all of them fittings, I told the Boss there that he was to call the company I used to work for and get us to replace them.
To that I was told "Nah, She'll be right, we have a forklift here", I told them to at least use an approved cage if they were going to replace any of the lamps or work at hieght off of a forklift.
Now, today, from what I'm told they had the now deceased guy up on a wooden pallet on the forklift and the pallet broke from underneath him, sending him onto a concrete floor, he died (what I would imagine would be) a slow and painful death falling 5 metres (15ft),
breaking his pelvis, breaking 6 ribs and puncturing a lung and a skull fracture.
When is it that idiots are going to learn that forklifts are not designed to lift people (especially on wooden pallets)?.
This young (19y/o) guy had been on the job about 3 months and was asked to change a light-bulb.
You'd never get me upon the forks of a forklift(cage or no cage) , considering that you can never trust the driver, but that is why they make things like scissor-lifts and cherry-pickers.
Some companies are just too short-sighted in the things they do.
A bit of money spent could have saved this guys life.
Imagine dying like that.
Someone needs a boot where it fits.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#151325 - 10/25/06 11:38 AM Re: Forklifts as personnel lifts??
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
"Denial" is not the name of a river in Egypt.

The use of pallets, or even bare forks, for lifting people is all too routine. So are the accidents. And the fatalities.

You try to get these firms to buy a cage, or even make a cage, and they look at you as if you're the village idiot. Oh, no, we do it this way all the time.... and reports of local accidents are completely ignored.

Heck, I've received strange looks for spreading the forks.... and you ought to see the ones I get when I attach the cage with a chain!

The only bright spot is my experience where I had them make a cage. At the time, they thought I was being fussy, and they decided to humor me.
The first thing they liked was that my work went much quicker. Since then, they've grown to love the cage, and have found all sorts of uses for it. Work that previously took hours, when done from ladders, is now done in minutes.

Working from a forklift isn't my first choice; and, as you mentioned, the driver is a critical part of the job. I have actually used lifts that had a remote set of controls, that would let you operate the forks from the basket.

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#151326 - 10/25/06 12:58 PM Re: Forklifts as personnel lifts??
steve ancient apprentice Offline
Member

Registered: 03/04/05
Posts: 170
Loc: west springfield,mass
My dad died in a forklift accident in 1970. The idiots that let this young fella do this should be strung up. My heart goes out to the family and this company should be fined for lettin a worker even attempt this kind of work while on a forklift with a pallet.

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#151327 - 10/27/06 03:16 PM Re: Forklifts as personnel lifts??
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Oddly enough folks,
Over here in NZ, the crazy thing about fork-lifts, is the fact that OSH actually administrates and trains those that operate forklifts.
When I went for my fork-lift licence a few years back there was actually no mention of lifting people up on the forks or any other medium.
You don't even have to hold a current drivers licence here to be able to operate a fork-lift (unless you drive it on a public road).
Personally, as a fork-lift operator, I'd NEVER lift a person up on anything with a fork-lift, the risk is just too great if something goes wrong and as I said above, there are better machines designed for this sole purpose, for things like this.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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#151328 - 10/27/06 03:28 PM Re: Forklifts as personnel lifts??
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
Mike here in the US using fork lifts to lift personal is fairly common and is OK with OSHA with a properly designed and used cage.

This applies to standard straight mast forklifts.

All terrain telescoping forklifts (Lulls) are not to be used as personal lifts with or without the cage.

I have been carted around on a fork lift quite a bit, anyone that drives the machine on a regular basis can usually drive it well enough to keep it smooth.

I'll tell you this, I liked being in a cage on a forklift better than hanging from a cage on a crane.

I am really sorry this person was killed, there is no excuse for standing on a pallet and getting driven around.

BTW here in the US a professionally made cage can be had for less than $400.00
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#151329 - 10/27/06 05:57 PM Re: Forklifts as personnel lifts??
renosteinke Offline
Cat Servant
Member

Registered: 01/22/05
Posts: 5305
Loc: Blue Collar Country
Here is a picture of a factory-made forklift work platform:
http://www.globalindustrial.com/images/picgroup/397.jpg

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#151330 - 10/28/06 06:20 AM Re: Forklifts as personnel lifts??
Big Ed Offline
Member

Registered: 04/07/04
Posts: 56
Loc: Roxboro, NC, USA
Actually, you are allowed to use a man platform on a telescopic lift. It just has to be approved for that use.

The lift we use has an attachment to allow for operator control override.

However, the operator is much more important when using one of these lifts. There are pecious few here that I will trust to lift me on ours.

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#151331 - 10/28/06 08:44 AM Re: Forklifts as personnel lifts??
gfretwell Offline

Member

Registered: 07/20/04
Posts: 9045
Loc: Estero,Fl,usa
I thought there were additional certifications for any machine that lifted people beyond the basket itself. That could have just been a US government rule. I know they told us a Bobcat wasn't "man rated" no matter what we put on the bucket hooks.
_________________________
Greg Fretwell

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#151332 - 10/28/06 03:15 PM Re: Forklifts as personnel lifts??
iwire Offline
Moderator

Registered: 01/05/03
Posts: 4343
Loc: North Attleboro, MA USA
 Quote:
Actually, you are allowed to use a man platform on a telescopic lift. It just has to be approved for that use.


That certainly may be true.

We rent telescopic material handlers like this one...



...quite often and all them specifically state not to be used as a personal lift.

It may just be the policy of the rental company we use.

I can not imagine riding in one of these stretched out while it is in motion, way to bumpy

[This message has been edited by iwire (edited 10-28-2006).]
_________________________
Bob Badger
Construction & Maintenance Electrician
Massachusetts

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#151333 - 10/28/06 05:34 PM Re: Forklifts as personnel lifts??
Trumpy Offline

Member

Registered: 07/05/02
Posts: 8540
Loc: SI,New Zealand
Bob,
Personally I have used a man-cage on the end of a crane hook before today and will continue to.
Crane operators are very clued-up people unlike some of the labourers that drive fork-lifts here.
How many fork-lift drivers can you name that recognise common hand signals?.
All crane operators here are required to know hand signals, as are people working near a crane.
Don't forget your hard-hat.
_________________________
Let's face it, these days if you're not young, you're old - Red Green grin

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