June 2015 IVES Update Newsletter

We’ll be covering: Lifting People and Expectations. Assigning operator numbers. Revision summary and new documents available! An incident report on a boomlift tip over. A question on using two forklifts to lift a load.  What’s Wrong With This? Photo and answer. Interesting articles.

Thanks for taking the time to read our newsletter! In this June 2015 IVES Update Newsletter edition we’ll be covering the following:

  • Our feature article: Lifting People and Expectations.
  • Trainer Alert: Assigning operator numbers.
  • Revision summary and new documents available!
  • An incident report on a boomlift tip over.
  • Ask Bob: Our tech-guru answers a question on using two forklifts to lift a load.
  • Don’t miss out on these last chance programs.
  • What’s Wrong With This? Photo and answer.
  • Interesting articles.
  • Incident reports.
  • Upcoming events schedule.
  • Testimonials from a few of our incredible clients.

But first, check out all the places we delivered training this month…

Lifting People and Expectations

Using forklifts to elevate personnel is common practice in industry but it is a task to which some rather uncommon and, judging by what I have witnessed, unknown requirements apply. Typically, the rules and regulations around elevating people with a forklift differ between regions, so I thought I would run down some of the base line requirements and some things to consider beyond the written regulation.

First of all, don’t use a forklift to raise people at all if you have another safe way to get the job done. Forklifts are designed as material handling devices not personnel elevating devices so if you have a more traditional way to get people into the air, like a ladder, scaffold or aerial lift (boomlift, scissor lift, etc.) use it. If you have no other way and must use a forklift consider the following:

Does MOM allow it? MOM is the Manufacturer’s Operating Manual and you must never disobey her. If she says no then it’s no – end of story. Usually there are no issues with MOM until you get to rough terrain telehandlers where you will find that there are as many manufacturers that flat out prohibit lifting of people with the unit as not. Regardless of what ITA class you are using, always consult MOM first and do whatever she says. With that in mind, federal OSHA in the USA considers using a personnel elevating platform a modification that affects capacity and/or safe operation of a forklift, which means you are going to have to get the written permission of the manufacturer beforehand. And if that’s not enough, there are more than few regulatory compliance officers out there that may consider using a forklift to raise people an application for which the machine was not designed, which of course flies in the face of MOM making the practice illegal. Do the legwork here and be sure you can do this before you try!

Is the machine up to it? I don’t know about you but if someone wanted to put me up in the air with a forklift the first thing I’d want to do is meet the forklift. Is it in good shape? Has it been inspected and found safe to use? Is there anything at all about the machine that makes me think perhaps I shouldn’t use it?

Is the operator up to it? Once again, if it’s my butt going into the air I want to know there is a trained and capable operator at the controls who is knowledgeable on what and what not to do when carrying a person, especially me! I would also want to meet with the operator to work out a communications system and what the plan is if something goes wrong.

What about the platform? If I’m just supposed to stand on the forks, I’m outta there. If it’s a pallet, I’m still outta there. If it’s a pallet with alleged guardrails nailed to it I’m outta there and looking for another place to work. If it’s anything but a purpose built elevating work platform specifically designed for use as such with all of its ratings and relative specifications clearly displayed on it, inspected and found safe and properly mounted on the forklift, I would respectfully refuse the work and politely ask to be reassigned.

Sighting the site. Equally as important as inspecting your equipment and gear is inspecting the area in which you plan to use it. Check out the usual suspects like local obstacles/obstructions, ground conditions, grades, vehicle/pedestrian traffic, etc. and don’t forget to look upward because that’s where you’re going. Nasty hazards like power lines live up there, not to mention all kinds of things to run into like fans, heaters, ductwork and on the list goes. Look for these things and do all that you reasonably can to eliminate or reduce the risk of injury they pose.

Practice makes perfect. Well, practicing the right things does but that’s a topic for another time. In this case we can borrow a page from the smart crane operator’s playbook and do something they call a “trial lift.” That is, with no actual load run through all of the movements of the lift to be sure it can be done safely before actually doing it with the load. And remember, when elevating personnel, that thing we so impersonally refer to as a load is a living, breathing human being so let’s do all we can to make sure those two criteria are maintained when “the load” comes back down.

PPE me. Personal Protective Equipment is just that, personal. You actually need to put it on your person and wear it. If there are overhead hazards that could fall on you or that you could be raised into, a hard hat is a good idea. Preferably one with a chin strap so it doesn’t slip off your head and plummet down onto someone else’s. Depending on where in the world you are, you may need to use a personal fall protection system. Not every regulatory jurisdiction requires it but some do so do your homework and find out. Depending on the task and the conditions, the PPE requirements could be varied and many.

Nothing to see here. Ever notice the first thing TV cops do with a crime scene? They cordon it off. Although the area where people are working at height is not a crime scene, allowing some terrible incident to occur because we didn’t cordon the area off beforehand could turn it in to one. Barrier tape, flagging, signage, spotters or anything you can do to either keep people and/or vehicles out of the area below or raise the awareness of overhead work being done to those on the ground is a great practice.

Follow the rules. Regulatory authorities are absolutely nuts about enforcing their regulations on working at height and good on them, they should be. Every year falls account for a huge proportion of citations, injuries and fatalities in the overall scope of things. Make sure you find out what your local occupational health and safety regulations have to say about elevating people with forklifts before you do it. As importantly, seek out the industry standards they reference because they can contain even more requirements than those listed in the regulation. Here are a few such requirements related to lifting people paraphrased from ANSI B56.1, a very widely referenced industry standard across North America:

  • Platform must be securely attached to the carriage or forks.
  • If the forks can pivot upward (like on a telehandler) they must be secured against it.
  • The mast must be kept vertical.
  • Only move the platform at the platform occupant’s request (unless there is an emergency).
  • You can move the forklift with an elevated platform to facilitate minor positioning of the platform but you cannot drive around with someone in the air.
  • Make sure the gross weight of the load does not exceed one half of the forklift’s rated lifting capacity, one third if it’s a rough terrain telehandler.

That’s pretty much it for the ‘need to know/do’ stuff. I’m sure many of you have items to pile on to the ones listed here and if so, please do.

In summary, using a forklift to elevate personnel is dangerous so don’t do it if you have a better/safer way. If you must, make sure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions and use a platform specifically designed and approved for the task. Consult your local regulations on the topic and follow them as well as any relative industry standards they may reference. Most importantly, take the time to think about what it is you need to do and plan things out with the operator that is lifting you up because ultimately the operator will also be the one to return you safely to the ground. Respect the law of the land and respect the law of gravity even more.

Rob Vetter
Director of Training
IVES Training Group

Did you enjoy the article? Click here to read more Articles of Interest!

Assigning Operator Certification Numbers

If you’re wondering how to assign an operator certification number, we’ve got you covered. First take your IVES Trainer Certification Number (e.g. 98765) then add a dash (-) followed by a 3 digit sequence specific to that operator (e.g. 001).

So, in this example, when certifying your very first operator, you will assign them an operator certification number of 98765-001. The second operator you train will be 98765-002 and so on.

Revisions Summary & New Documents

The following documents have been revised and the affected pages are available for download on the Member Dashboard:

  • Excavator Trainer’s Manual Insert
  • Boom-supported Elevating Work Platform Trainer’s Manual Insert
  • Self-propelled Elevating Work Platform Trainer’s Manual Insert
  • Boom-supported & Self-propelled Elevating Work Platform Trainer’s Manual Insert
  • Cal-OSHA Regulations
  • Equipment Pre-Use Checklists

The following new documents are available for IVES Certified Trainers to download on the Member Dashboard:

  • Lesson Plan Site & Equipment Specifics-Forklifts/Loaders/Mobile Elevating Work Platforms
  • Powered Industrial Equipment Workplace Inspection Checklist
  • WAC Safety Standard for Elevating Work Platforms
  • Mobile Elevating Work Platform Supervisor’s Operational Safety Reference
  • Forklifts Supervisor’s Operational Safety Reference
  • Earthmoving Equipment Supervisor’s Operational Safety Reference
  • Special Report: OSHA’s Powered Industrial Truck Operator Training Standard

Login to the Member Dashboard to download these free documents.

Ask Bob

Q: Assuming that the capacity of both machines is not exceeded, is it OK to use two forklifts to lift a load?

A: I have never seen any regulations or standards that prohibit it but I would only recommend using two forklifts to lift a single load as a last resort. A crane would be the right machine to use here if you have access to one. If you have no other choice, I suggest the following:

  • Choose two experienced operators.
  • Use well maintained forklifts with capacity ratings well above the expected load they will carry.
  • Assign a lift supervisor and a signal person (they could be the same person).
  • Have a meeting with everyone involved with the lift and discuss what needs to be done and how you intend on getting it done (and write the plan down!).
  • Only make the lift in good weather.
  • Make sure the forklifts pick up the load so that its weight is distributed evenly across both of them.
  • Make sure each operator raises the load at the same speed keeping the load even.
  • Keep non-essential personnel out of the area.
  • Stop and lower the load immediately if there is even a hint of something going wrong.

Most importantly, check the equipment-specific manufacturer’s operating manual and follow any instructions it may have on multi-equipment lifts and it is also highly advisable to contact your local regulatory authority to see if they have any issues/advice on the matter.

Last Chance Programs!

There are lots of programs to choose from, but seats available are limited!

U.S.A. Programs

Las Vegas, Nevada
Aerial Lifts Trainer Jun 23-25
Trainer Recertification Jun 26
Premium Forklift Trainer Jul 21-24

Sacramento, California
Aerial Lifts Trainer Jul 7-9
Trainer Recertification Jul 10
Premium Forklift Trainer Aug 10-13
Rough Terrain Forklift Trainer Upgrade Jul 14

Rancho Cucamonga, Southern California
Express Forklift Trainer Jul 13-14

Salt Lake City, Utah
Premium Combo Trainer Jul 27-31

Kapolei, Hawaii
Express Forklift Trainer Aug 3-4

Canadian Programs

Abbotsford, British Columbia
Express Forklift Trainer Jul 13-14
Premium Combo Trainer Jul 27-31
Express Forklift Trainer Aug 5-6
Trainer Recertification Aug 7
Premium Forklift Trainer Aug 17-20
Aerial Lifts Trainer Upgrade Aug 21
Express Skid Steer Loader Trainer Aug 24-25
Excavator Trainer Upgrade Aug 26

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Trainer Recertification Jun 26

Oshawa, Ontario
Premium Combo Trainer Jul 20-24

Prince George, British Columbia
Express Forklift Trainer Jul 27-28

What’s Wrong With This?

This month we’re excited to share WorkSafeBC’s What’s Wrong With This Photo? Click the image below to submit your answers.

Answers to WWWT

Last month we shared the photo below which has the following issues. First, the platform is too close to overhead power lines. Secondly, it appears to have been left unattended with the engine cover open. Finally, the boom/platform was left elevated even though it seems to be in an area that would accommodate a lowered platform.

Interesting Articles

  • Get OSHA’s free Heat Safety Tool… more
  • Worker dies of carbon monoxide poisoning from forklift… more
  • Operator killed in excavator tip over… more
  • Supreme Court rejects verdict against aerial lift manufacturer… more
  • WorkSafeBC revised guideline for welding repair of forks on lift trucks… more
  • One dead and another injured in aerial lift incident… more
  • Ontario supermarket convicted in forklift death… more
  • Excavator operator falls 10 feet after asphalt collapses… more

Incident Reports

Hamden, CT – Three workers were hurt when they fell about 20 ft. from a telescopic handler at a construction site. Police say the men were climbing off the roof of a building under construction and onto a pallet being elevated on the forks of the telehandler when the machine shifted and the men fell to the ground. They were taken to a hospital for non-life-threatening injuries. OSHA is investigating. www.greenfieldreporter.com

Oakland, IA – A maintenance man was seriously injured when he was pinned against an overhead pipe while operating a scissor lift at a meat-processing plant. The victim suffered a head injury and was taken to a medical center by ambulance. The head injury was serious but not believed to be life-threatening. The plant and OSHA are investigating. www.omaha.com

Augusta, GA – OSHA is investigating the accident that killed a worker in a steel-products plant. The victim was 20 to 30 ft. off the ground in an aerial lift installing light fixtures when another piece of equipment hit the platform and the worker fell. He was taken to a medical center, where he died of his injuries the next day. www.wrdw.com

Brentwood, TN – A concrete company employee was killed when a forklift tipped over and landed on him. Police said the victim was making a delivery to a construction site when the accident happened. The forklift was removing materials from a truck when it flipped and landed on top of him. www.wsmv.com

Source: Lift and Access March – April 2015

Upcoming Events

We will be exhibiting at the NSC Congress & Exposition in Atlanta, Georgia Sept 26-Oct 2.

The NSC Congress & Expo is the world’s largest annual “must attend” event for safety, health and environmental professionals. For more than 100 years, professionals have turned to this event for industry-leading technology, education, networking opportunities and the tried and true products and services needed to stay at the forefront and remain competitive within the industry.

Make sure you stop by and say hi to our trade show team!

Client Testimonials

“Great class, it was a nice change of pace from the run of the mill boring classes I usually attend.” Mark, AC/R Services LLC.

“It was an amazing training class.” William, Basin Safety Consulting.

“Pleasantly surprised – class was fun and very informative.” Brent, Alaskan Copper Works.

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