A crew was off-loading two vertical pumps using an extended reach fork truck.
The first pump was off-loaded successfully.
When lifting the second pump, the load became unstable and fell 3 feet. (1 metre)
The crew on the ground were 10 feet (3 metres)from the pump when it fell.
There were no injuries.
Why did it happen?
4x4 supports were not secured to the pallet consistently for each load.
Forks did not fully engage the supports, causing the pallet to split.
Workers did not fully understand the load weight distribution or centre of gravity.
No labelling warning that the load was top heavy.
The unloading area contained railroad tracks and uneven ground.
What did they learn?
Ensure loads and supports are secured to the pallets.
Check forks are properly engaged before lifting.
Understand the weight distribution of loads before attempting to unload them.
Include signage on the load – e.g. ‘Top heavy’.
Account for uneven ground.
Ground personnel should stay in the safe zone.
Ask yourself or your crew
What other actions could have been taken?
How could something like this happen here?
How do we check the forks have properly engaged the supports?
How do we know we understand of the load’s weight distribution?
How have we managed factors that might affect the forklift operation (e.g. uneven ground, etc.)?
Where is the safe zone?
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A crew was off-loading two vertical pumps using an extended reach fork truck. The first pump was off-loaded successfully but when lifting the second pump, the load became unstable and fell 3 feet.