OSHA News Release - (Archived) Table of Contents|
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 carriage bar.
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.
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