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The use of working platforms on fork lift trucks

There are detailed and specific rules about the design and use of working platforms on fork lift trucks. The use of such equipment is restricted to occasional use in exceptional circumstances. Any person involved with the application of such equipment should ensure they are familiar with these rules.

The term "platform" is a bit misleading. This type of equipment is specially designed to allow a fork lift truck to be used to raise one or more people to a working position, in order to carry out an urgent essential task in relative safety. The "platform" must have sides and requires specified safety devices.

Platforms such as pallets, skips, stillages, or any "home made" or improvised device, must never be used to lift people.

The circumstances in which a platform can be used are quite restricted. They include checking for damage at height, changing essential light fittings or clearing blocked gutters. They do not include routine maintenance, stock taking or order picking.

Any fork lift truck that may be used with a working platform must have a Thorough Examination at least every 6 months. All working platforms must have a Thorough Examination at least every 6 months.

The rules and further guidance are given in the HSE document described below. It can be downloaded free of charge from the HSE website.

HSE Guidance note PM28

(3rd Edition)

Working Platforms (Non-Integrated) on forklift trucks

The information in this article has been assembled and interpreted to give truck owners and users basic guidance on frequently asked questions. Further important information will be given in the quoted reference documents. Responsibility for meeting the safety obligations discussed rests with the employer, Ability Handling Ltd and the FLTA will not accept liability for any problem arising as a result of the content of this document. Technical Bulletins, containing more detailed information and updated as appropriate, are made available free to members of the FLTA SAFE USER GROUP.