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    NEW ADVICE ON TELEHANDLER SUSPENDED LOADS

    Incidents trigger supplementary CPA guidance

    Lifting and travelling with suspended loads is not the primary purpose of telehandlers. When selecting equipment for this activity the first step should be to ensure that a telehandler is suitable for carrying out the task safely. Where other equipment is more suitable, it should be used.

    The lifting of suspended loads with telehandlers and travelling with those loads is generally more hazardous than lifting unit loads on the forks of a telehandler.

    Inappropriate use causes disastrous effect

    The need for great care is illustrated by an incident in which a 17m telehandler was lifting steel columns from a nearby lay-down area and positioning them for erection.

    Whilst manoeuvring with the boom section extended to give sufficient ground clearance, the telehandler tilted to one side causing the machine to overturn. The telehandler came to rest when the extended boom penetrated through an adjacent building roof.

    At the time of the incident, the vehicle was traversing an excessive slope of approximately 1:6 (9.5°, 16.5%). The accident was caused by inappropriate use of the telehandler for this task.

    Four page stand-alone guidance

    In 2013, the CPA (Construction Plant-hire Association) Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group published a revised guidance intended to help industry reduce the risk of accident and injury when working with telehandlers.

    The additional new guidance on suspended loads has been written to give clarification on good industry practice and is now available for download as a four-page stand-alone document. The supplementary guidance will be incorporated in the main guidance document at its next published revision.

    The particular issues associated with using telehandlers to lift suspended loads are covered in the new four-page guidance, these include, Planning, Operator Training,

    Summaries of “Key Points” for Operators and for Supervisors have been developed based on the Guidance. It is intended that these can adopted and adapted by any company, as the basis for pocket cards, posters or any other relevant format.

    The revised version of Safe Use of Telehandlers in Construction is published by the CPA (Construction Plant-hire Association), on behalf of the Strategic Forum Plant Safety Group, and is available to download from the CPA website. 

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