Telehandler Safety

The unsafe use of Telehandlers has led to a significant number of serious accidents, tragically including some fatalities.

The continuing development of telehandlers (telescopic materials handlers) in terms of capacity and reach makes them a versatile piece of site equipment. This versatility however provides scope for unsafe use; this has led to a significant number of serious accidents, including some fatalities. Not only do these accidents have a terrible cost in terms of human suffering, they also have a significant financial cost for all concerned. Consequently there is a very strong business case for improving telehandler safe working procedures.

The effective maintenance of a telehandler is an essential part of safe operation. As with all machines a telehandler wears, deteriorates and can suffer damage over time. The maintenance process, including checks and inspections, monitors, prevents and rectifies this deterioration.

Telehandlers require the manufacturer’s preventative maintenance instructions to be strictly complied with, if safety is to be maintained in use. Checks and inspections should be carried out taking account of the frequency of use of the telehandler and the environmental conditions in which it regularly works. If the operator is considered to be competent to carry out routine pre-use and weekly checks, they may be authorised to do so.

Basic checks and inspections should be carried out in accordance with company instructions and the manufacturer's recommendations:

Our telehandler checklist systems enables a daily pre-use inspection to be carried out at the start of every shift (or day) and includes checks for damage and correct functioning of the telehandler (whilst providing a documented record of the findings).

If there is a defect that affects the safe operation of the telehandler a “Do Not Use” message can be displayed in the tag, taking the machine out of service immediately whilst the issue is reported. If no issues are found during the telehandler inspection the tag should display a “Good to Go” message along with the date the check sheet was completed, thus removing any uncertainty.

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