News Release USDL: 96-278
Thursday, July 11, 1996
Contact: Frank Kane (202) 219-8151
OSHA Says Death Of Worker Shows Dangers Of Unauthorized
Modification Of Industrial Forklift Trucks
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration
(OSHA) has issued a safety warning against
unauthorized modification of industrial forklift
trucks following an incident in which a worker
was crushed to death.
The worker was employed by a Midwest company
that fabricates material handling equipment for
the road paving industry. In one job, when the
end of a 10,000-pound silo had to be lifted, an
eight-foot long boom was attached to the fork
carriage of a forklift and used to raise the
silo. The worker went underneath the fork
carriage to measure the diameter of the silo.
He was crushed when the 500-pound fork carriage
and the 250-pound extension boom disengaged from
the top truck carriage bar and fell on him.
In a Hazard Information Bulletin, OSHA warned
that attaching the eight-foot boom to lift the
silo is a modification of the forklift which
affects its capacity and safe operation.
Modifications must have the prior written
approval of the forklift manufacturer.
Also, the OSHA forklift truck standard
prohibits a worker from attempting to
measure the diameter of the silo from
under the fork carriage.
The fork carriage attachment for the
forklift has capacity ratings between
2,000 and 5,500 pounds. When the load
of the silo was placed at the tip of the
extended eight-foot boom, it may have
exceeded the capacity of the attachment,
causing it to jump off from the top truck
Hazard Information Bulletins are issued to
provide relevant information on unrecognized
or misunderstood health hazards, inadequacies
of materials, devices, techniques, and safety
engineering controls. The bulletins are
initiated based on information provided by
field staff, studies, reports and concerns
expressed by safety and health professionals,
employers, and the public. Copies may be
obtained from OSHA area or regional offices
and OSHA-funded state consultation projects.
For further information on workplace safety
and health issues, contact the OSHA area office
nearest you (listed in the telephone directory
under United States Government-Department of
Labor-Occupational Safety and Health Administration)
or call OSHA's Office of Information and Consumer
Affairs at 202-219-8151.