CAUSES OF A FORKLIFT TRUCK TIP OVER

COMMON CAUSES OF A FORKLIFT TIP OVER

Forklift tip-overs, which often result in worker injuries or even fatalities, are among the most common types of workplace forklift accidents. If the equipment isn’t operated properly or when the operator fails to recognise potentially unsafe working conditions, forklifts can become imbalanced and tip, which can lead to serious injuries, fatalities, and damages to property and equipment. 

As an employer, it’s important that your workers receive adequate training to acquire the skills and knowledge needed to recognise and avoid forklift tip-over hazards, which will both protect your workers against accidents and shield your business from property damages and costly fines. There are several reasons lateral and longitudinal tip-overs occur, and it’s important that your workers understand them.

So what are the main causes?

  • 1) Turning too quickly, especially when unladen.
  • 2) Sudden changes in speed and/or direction.
  • 3) Driving with an elevated load or load carrying device.
  • 4) Impact with kerb, pothole, or other object, e.g. Discarded pallet.
  • 5) Impact with overhead obstruction, e.g. Doorway.
  • 6) Driving with a side-shifted or uncentered load.
  • 7) Turning on, or traversing across, a slope or ramp.
  • 8) Driving with the load downslope.
  • 9) Suspended (swinging) loads.
  • 10) Driving off the ramp or dock edge.
  • 11) Drive away, e.g. Of lorry/trailer.
  • 12) Manoeuvring with load raised.
  • 13) Tilting the mast forward with an elevated load.
  • 14) Driving on uneven surfaces.
  • 15) Overloading.
  • 16) Transporting large loads.

OPERATOR RESTRAINTS KEEP THE DRIVER WITHIN THE PROTECTIVE STRUCTURE IN THE EVENT OF A TIP OVER

A severe or fatal injury can occur if the truck tips over (laterally or longitudinally). This is why it is so important to ALWAYS WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT! (if fitted).

In a tip over incident, the operator should:

  • 1) Stay within the truck.
  • 2) Hold on firmly to the steering wheel.
  • 3) Brace feet.
  • 4) Lean away from the point of impact.

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