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A boom attachment is one of the most practical and efficient of all forklift attachments. It can essentially allow your forklift to perform double duty — as both a lift truck and a type of crane.
But like all forklift attachments, boom attachments are only safe to use if operators use the utmost care and caution. Properly using your boom attachment safety requires operators to follow recommended guidelines.
Boom Attachment Guidelines
For example, boom attachments should only be used if they have been approved for use by the lift truck’s original manufacturer. Boom attachments are not universal. One that has been approved for use on one model of forklift may not always be used on another.
It’s important to make sure your boom attachment is approved for use with your specific make and model of forklift. If you aren’t sure, check the boom attachment’s owner’s manual. There should be a list of vehicles for which it can be used. If not, you can check with the manufacturer of either the attachment or forklift.
Before using the boom attachment, make sure you familiarize yourself with the owner/operator manual. This will help you understand the proper use of the attachment, as well as the safety requirements, including the use of supplied safety restraints and safety pins.
General Operating Rules
One of the most important pieces of information you will need to know is the boom attachment’s load limit. Usually, this can be found on a decal on the attachment itself or on an identity plate found on the unit.
Using the boom attachment to lift a load limit higher than the boom is designed to lift can lead to failure and/or injury to the operator or nearby pedestrians.
While the boom is being used, it’s important for the operator to remain at the controls of the forklift, with the engine running. The operator also should be trained and certified on the proper use of the boom attachment before using it for the first time.
Controlled Access Zone
Whenever any objects are being lifted with the boom attachment, a Controlled Access Zone (CAZ) should be designated. The CAZ should include the area directly beneath the boom under the load as well as extending outward at least 10 feet in all directions.
This will reduce the risk of injury to people or damage to property in the event of a boom attachment failure or equipment malfunction.