On Tuesday 28th May 2013 fire crews were called to the Stewart Milne building site in Kirkhill Rise, Gorebridge, Midlothian on reports of a forklift truck tipping over and trapping a main in the cab of the truck.
The 21 year old had hurt his spine and chest as a result of the accident and have to be removed on a spinal board once the firefighters had smashed the glass and removed the seat. The man was then taken to Edinburgh Royal Infirmarybut his injuries are not thought to be life threatening.
Stories like this are quite common and show that it’s important to keep an eye on safety at all times as when dealing with heavy machinery it doesn’t take much for something to go wrong.
The man may have been a complete novice or could have been working with trucks for years but it outlines the need for adequate training of not only the operation of forklifts but also of health and safety to ensure operators are up to date on all the latest legislation and techniques and are maintaining the correct standards of operation at an acceptable level.
How can a forklift tip over?
There’s no information available on how the accident happened but there are only two ways a forklift can tip over and that’s forwards or sideways.
Main Causes of Sideways Tip-Over (Lateral Instability)
- Turning at speed
- Turning with an elevated load
- Turning on an incline
- Driving over obstacles
- Driving into potholes
- Lifting a load while sideways on a slope
- Live loads
- Lifting a load off centre
- Incorrect use of the sideshift
Main Causes of Forwards Tip-Over (Longitudinal Instability)
- Undercutting (Extended load centre)
- Lifting with forward tilt on the mast
- Harsh accelerating/braking
- Rough use of the hydraulic controls
- Travelling the wrong way on a slope
- Live loads
- Hitting overhead obstacles
What to do if your forklift is tipping over
Never jump off of a forklift if you feel it tipping as you will more likely end up worse off and could get pinned under it.
If the forklift is tipping over, protect yourself by staying put:
- Stay in your seat and do not attempt to jump off.
- Lean away from the falling direction of the lift.
- Hold onto the steering wheel and make sure you’re stable.
Your never want to lean toward your fall. You should hold onto the steering wheel, make sure you’re stable and lean away from your falling direction.