7 Ways to Prevent Forklift Work Platform Accidents

work platformForklift work platforms are attachments that have sleeves that fit over the forks of a forklift and provide a stable platform for workers that can be raised and lowered as needed.

While most forklift work platforms come with safety features such as gates and safety rails, workers using these attachments must still follow standard safety rules to prevent injury or accident.

The biggest risk from a forklift work platform is a fall from a height. So any worker required to use a forklift work platform needs to receive training on how to use these tools safely, how to avoid a fall, and how to prevent the most common forklift work platform hazards.

Top 7 Ways to Avoid Accidents

Here then are seven ways you can protect your workers from injury or accident while using a forklift work platform attachment:

  • Make Sure the Platform Is Authorized for Your Forklift — Not all forklift work platforms are universal. Some are only designed to be used with certain types of forklifts. Using the wrong work platform with a forklift it wasn’t designed to fit can create an unstable environment for workers.
  • Secure the Platform Before Allowing Workers to Climb On — Forklift work platforms fit over the forks of a lift truck. They usually are held in place using pins or other implements. These must be in place in order to prevent the work forklift from slipping off the forks, which can cause injury if workers are standing on it at the time.
  • Don’t Stand on Guardrails — Most forklift work platforms have a top rail, mid rail, and a toe board. These are there to give workers something to hold onto to improve stability. They shouldn’t be used to give workers more reach. Don’t allow workers to stand on guardrails, chains or other safety equipment while the work platform is in use. Workers also should never climb onto buckets, ladders, or other unsafe means to gain additional reach.
  • Safety Harnesses are Mandatory — Anybody working at a height is required to wear a personal fall arrest harness attached to a short lanyard no longer than two to four feet long. It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.
  • Lower Work Platform Before Moving to a New Work Site — Transporting workers to a new work site while the work platform is still extended is unsafe. Lower the work platform and have workers get off of it before moving the forklift to a new location.
  • Watch out for Obstructions — Anybody using a work platform needs to be trained to look out for risky overhead obstructions, such as live wiring, power lines, overhead beams, and other dangers.
  • Driver Must Remain Seated — Whenever workers are using the work platform, the forklift operator must remain seated and belted in the vehicle so that he or she can move the work platform quickly in an emergency.

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