Don’t Pick Up Other Riders

Almost all forklifts are designed to have a single person onboard, i.e., the operator. Having an extra person on board puts the operator, the rider, and anyone nearby at risk.

Risks of Riding On Forklifts

Riding as an extra person on a forklift can be dangerous regardless of where or how you choose to sit. Here’s why:

  • Sitting on a fork or on top of objects carried by the forks is not advisable because it will be difficult to keep your balance. Sitting on a load may offer better balance but this can make the whole forklift unbalanced causing it to tip over. Additionally, should the rider fall or get off while the forklift is in motion, they could easily be run over.
  • Sitting at the back of the forklift doesn’t work either because there is no way to maintain balance. This also shifts the forklift’s center of gravity and can cause it to tip. Falling from the back of the forklift can lead to injury or worse especially if the forklift is reversing.
  • Sharing the operator’s seat puts the rider, operator, and everyone around them at risk. The rider may accidentally hit a control mechanism causing the operator to lose control of the forklift.
  • In case of a forklift malfunction or accident, even one caused by something else, the rider will be in greater danger because they have no seatbelt to keep them from jumping or getting thrown in the path of a tipping or rolling forklift.

Preventing Extra Riders On Forklifts

Drivers should be informed of the dangers of picking up riders on their forklifts. The company should also have a strict policy against having riders on forklifts.

Forklifts are occasionally used to help workers access elevated areas. In such situations, an access cage must be used. Avoid lifting workers on makeshift platforms such as pallets.

The access cage and its contents should not exceed half the forklift’s carrying capacity. People should also not be moved about in the access cage especially when elevated.

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