The company installed a manual chain and hoist lift to facilitate removing and replacing the liquid propane fuel tanks from its lift trucks.
The company has 12 propane powered lift trucks, each with either a 7 or 10 gallon liquid propane tank mounted on the rear of the truck. The company uses a 1,500 gallon bulk liquid propane tank to refill the 7 or 10 gallon lift truck tanks. As a precaution against potential fire hazards that may be posed by filling a tank while it is mounted on a hot lift truck, employees had to remove the tanks from the lift trucks to refill them. When full, the 7 or 10 gallon lift truck tanks weigh 45 to 65 lbs, and employees had to lift the full tank back into the lift truck tank cradle (a height of between 48 to 58 inches). The company was concerned that employees, who vary in size, height, and physical capability, would be put at risk of strains or other injury from lifting and maneuvering full truck tanks back into position on the powered lift trucks.
To enable employees to refill the lift truck tanks, the company installed a manual chain hoist with a 400 lb capacity on a boom that moves through a 280° arc. The boom has a chain with tongs on the end to grasp the lift truck tank. Employees disconnect the fuel hose and strap, which secures the tank to the lift truck, engage the tongs and raise the tank to clear the tank cradle. The boom is used to move the tank away from the truck, and then lower the tank to the ground for filling. After refilling the tank, employees use the hoist to replace the filled lift truck tank on the lift truck.
Implementing this process has greatly reduced the risk of injury to approximately 14 employees by eliminating the need to lift and maneuver the heavy lift truck tanks, without any significant adverse impact on productivity or efficiency. There have been no injuries attributed to tank lifting since installing the hoist.
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