Load Stability

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Forklifts and other powered industrial vehicles are the mainstay of moving materials in our industry. Their safe operation is key which is why standards for training and evaluation of drivers can be so stringent. Second to operational safety, load stability is probably the second most important factor to ensure the safe moving of materials with this equipment.

If the load is not secured on the forklift itself with proper balancing, placement and security, accidents are just waiting to happen. This was recently demonstrated in Brooklyn, New York:

Hardhat crushed to death between truck and forklift at Brooklyn construction site

New York Daily News
By Thomas Tracy
March 10, 2018

A construction worker was crushed to death between a flatbed truck and a forklift at a Brooklyn work site early Saturday, police said.

The forklift was raising up a payload of scaffolding pipes at the site on Stewart St. and Broadway in Bushwick about 3 p.m., cops said.

The pipes shifted, causing the forklift to tip to the side — pinning a construction worker against the truck, witnesses said.
“He was completely passed out; it was so bad. He looked like he was done,” witness Jose Rosario said.

First responders pulled the forklift upright and rushed the hardhat to Brookdale University Medical Center, where he died.

Prior to moving or lifting a load ensure the load is secure on the industrial vehicle. Looks for these things:

  • Check the loads carefully before moving them for stability and damage.
  • It is important to ensure that the load is tilted back with the forks sitting low whilst transporting in order to increase truck stability.
  • Check for any overhead objects before lifting or stacking loads.
  • Do not lift or move loads that are not safe or stable.
  • Make sure loads are correctly stacked and positioned across both forks.
  • Make sure the load is evenly balance across both forks.
  • Make sure the heavier part of an unbalance object is towards the cockpit of the vehicle.
  • Stack the load on the pallet or skid safely and correctly.
  • Use securing measures such as ropes or bindings if required.
  • Place the load all the way in the forks prior to moving or lifting.


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