Annex II, point 3.1.2. of Directive 2009/104/EC concerning the minimum safety and health requirements for the use of work equipment by workers at work states that ‘Persons may be lifted only by means of work equipment and accessories provided for that purpose’. However, it also states that, exceptionally, work equipment not specifically designed for this purpose (such as a forklift), may also be used to lift persons, provided that:
- appropriate action has been taken to ensure safety in accordance with national legislation and/or practice providing for appropriate supervision;
- the control position is manned at all times while workers are on work equipment designed for lifting loads;
- the persons being lifted have reliable means of communication;
- in the event of danger, there are reliable means of evacuating the persons being lifted.
This SLIC document provides an overview of legislation covering the exceptional use of a forklift as a means for lifting persons. The overview encompasses the aforementioned Directive 2009/104/EC, the EN 14502 standard and a range of national regulations. One common basic requirement is that persons may only be lifted if the forklift truck is fitted with a purpose-built equipment (work platform, basket, etc.) specifically designed for lifting persons.
It then offers examples of national practices and the requirements of different national labour inspectorates around the exceptional use of forklift trucks for lifting workers. These examples also serve as good practices for any company using forklift trucks for lifting people, and include:
- forklift truck and platform suitability;
- forklift and lifting device capacity;
- work platform or basket requirements e.g. guardrails;
- the use of personal protective equipment (PPE);
- the use of communication devices;
- pre-use checks;
- regular third-party inspections.
Published by: Senior Labour Inspectors Committee (SLIC)
Publication date: June 2018
Number of pages: 14 pp.