A recent accident involving the handling of clay bricks has learning points which apply across most industry sectors.
A forklift truck operator was in the process of transferring bricks using a 5t Linde forklift truck. The driver approached a stack carrying two packs of bricks, which were to be placed on the top row of the stack. During the final stage of the process the operator became aware of a sudden lateral instability, but was unable to counter the movement in time. The operator correctly followed his training by remaining within his cab and bracing himself for impact.
Whilst an investigation is still ongoing, it has been identified that a pothole (of significant size) had been inappropriately filled with bricks as a temporary repair.
Ensure frequent yard inspections are undertaken and an effective maintenance programme is in place.
Ensure poor ground conditions are clearly identified and where temporarily repaired, appropriate materials are used. Remove accumulations of loose material on the ground.
To minimise the risk of a forklift truck overturning always:
• Ensure the truck is adequate for the load to be lifted.
• Travel with the load centralised wherever possible.
• Avoid turning with an elevated mast or whilst travelling at an excessive speed.
• Reduce rear tilt appropriately before elevating a load
• Never move a load that appears unsuitable or unstable (including on a damaged pallet).
• Never travel with a bulky load which blocks your view.
• Never travel with a raised load, unless the lift truck is designed for this.
• Avoid violent braking or sudden change of direction which may cause the load to fall off or the truck to tip.
• Consider the impact of camber, slopes and terrain
• Never allow a fork lift truck to turn on, or travel across a ramp / incline.
• Understand your route; watch out for potholes, speed humps and other obstructions
• Wear seatbelts
• Should an overturn occur, stay within the truck and brace, DO NOT attempt to jump from the cab.
• Follow the principles outlined in the HSE publication “Safety in Working with Lift Trucks” (HSG6).
Please see link to HSE web page on forklifts http://www.hse.gov.uk/workplacetransport/lift-trucks/managing-lift-trucks.htm