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What Happens When Material Handling Equipment Gets Stuck?

Some material handling equipment such as our JLG mobile stock pickers and our JLG vertical mast boom lifts are designed to be raised to a height of more than three meters which allow for the operator to work at heights. But what happens when the machine fails and the operator is at this height?

It is important that there is always a safe means of escape for the operator should the materials handling equipment fail and thus get stuck within the raised position. This is stated in paragraph 28- of the Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment regulations 1998 (LOLER 98) Approved Code of Practice and Guidelines states that in relation to lifting persons:

You should always ensure that in event of failure of the lifting equipment the person being lifted is not exposed to any danger and that they have a reliable means of rescue available.”

As material handling equipment is used in a whole range of workplaces and roles with a varying number of applications. For this reason it becomes apparent that there must be a proper risk assessment carried out so that when the material handling equipment is in use should it get stuck then the person using it can be rescued by the most appropriate means.

You can find a whole range of escape options with LAC however; this is not on official document and more of a guideline for specialised inspectors. You can download this from www.­hse.­gov.­uk/­lau/­lacs and it is LAC Number 20/3 and then for any escape options available you need to read section 20- Emergency Procedures.

When carrying out risk assessments it becomes apparent that you must explain clearly how that person is going to be rescued and provide a solution whether this is through rope evacuation or other methods ensure that people have appropriate training to do this in the event of an emergency.