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KEYLIFT FORKLIFT TRUCK TRAINING Professional Fork Lift Truck Training

Wearing a seat belt on a forklift (UK)

“I don’t wear a seat belt on a forklift because I’m constantly on and off”

” I don’t wear a seat belt on a forklift because I want to be able to jump out of the other side if it tips over”.

This is the message we hear on a weekly occurrence why people don’t wear their seat belt. Is this a valid reason why people shouldn’t wear their seat belt? Well to to gain a better insight into this, we first have to understand the role of a seat belt on a forklift and why it is fitted.

Role of a seat belt on a forklift truck.

The seatbelt is actually there to STOP you jumping out of a forklift truck if it tips.

When a forklift tips over it happens so fast it usually throws the operator under the overhead guard. This often ends in fatalities. It actually happens so often it has its own name within the industry…. the mouse trap.
Here at Keylift Training we are personally aware of one fatal accident regarding a forklift tipping sideways. Unfortunately, the young man of 19 was not wearing his seat belt.

Lap Seat belt
Lap seat belt

The young man would of probably survived if the seat belt was on.  As a result of this the company received a fine somewhere in the region of £450,000.
According to Mitsubishi forklift briefing ‘mousetrapping’ is one of the biggest causes of fatal accidents in the work place.

Forklift seat belt law (UK)

In 2002, it became law that seat belts are fitted to forklift trucks. If you look under section 105 of the L117 it says ‘Where restraining systems are fitted they should be used’

It’s this wording that gives employers and employees the impression that you don’t really need to wear a seat belt on a forklift truck. The use of seat belts should be determined by the employer through risk assessment. If you are an employer look at the accidents on forklifts that happen on a regular basis.

Seat belts don’t stop accidents from happening, it just reduces the seriousness of the accident. Regular refresher training reduces the chances of accidents along with the correct monitoring and supervision from the management.

Seat belt on a forklift on public roads (requirements)

When using a forklift on a public road you must wear a seat belt…..IT’S THE LAW. There are also other requirements when operating forklifts on public roads.

3 key actions to take when a forklift tips sideways.

1- Lean away from the point of impact.
2- Brace yourself and plant your feet on the base of the forklift.
3- Grab the steering wheel or the handle, if possible, on the opposite side of the impact.

The best preventative measure of all is WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT

If you’re a manager or a company owner, we strongly advise you to think about your risk assessments. Start enforcing seat belts on forklift trucks.

Bye for now.

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