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Lift Equipment for Moving People
Let me preface this by saying that I know little about machinery and work with it rarely. However my boss has me searching for a piece of lift equipment that would be able to lift people, given the right attachment. He saw an advertisement for the Pro-Tech Workbox and wants to know what kind of machines would be compliant in OSHA (or from my research I assume ANSI) standards for people, and how would I identify and search for these machines?
  • Posted 19 Apr 2008 04:42 AM
Total replies: 20. Showing items 1 - 20 of 20 results.
  • edward_t
  • South Carolina, United States
I think the standard you are looking for is b56.1 either asme (American Socity of Mechanical Engineers, or the much more current (and in my opinion, friendly, but I am prejudiced) ITSDF (Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation) go to [url removed] to download the standards for free.
it may also be that you are really considering an aerial lift, such as a boom lift or scissor lift, and those standards are somewhat different, and covered under ANSI A92.6 and SIA (Scaffold industry Association). the dividing line is; does the machine also have to "move goods and material", or -just- personnel?
  • Posted 19 Apr 2008 09:04 AM
  • • Modified 19 Apr 2008 09:39 PM by poster
I will preface this by saying I work for Pro-Tech.

I am not trying to advertise against board rules, but I will say the Pro-Tech Work Box meets ANSI/ITSDF B56.6-2005, Section 8.24

Section 8.24 explains the requirements for using a work platform on a telehandler. A lot of guys say OSHA doesn't approve using a work platform on a Telehandler. That is absolutely false! There is a whole standard written which governs such use. OSHA will have no problem with a work platform on a telehandler provided it meets ANSI/ITSDF B56.6-2005, Section 8.24.

The other thing you need to make sure is that your operator is familiar with and follows B56.6, Section 5.15, "Elevating Personnel".
  • Posted 23 Apr 2008 11:38 PM
I believe that the use of a telehandler to raise personnel may not be based upon the truck itself, but the uneven terrain the truck is resting upon. When I teach, I strongly deter my students from raising personnel unless the truck is situated on a solid concrete level surface
  • Posted 24 Apr 2008 08:52 AM
I'm sure that we want a machine that will be as versitile as possible, so people and materials would probably be required. While I don't know the exact intended usage, much of the area we work in is not paved, so that may be relevant.
  • Posted 24 Apr 2008 09:25 PM

If the “work box” you are referring to is the Pro-Tech Material Handling Box (MH08T), it would not be acceptable as a rough terrain work platform in Michigan, an OSHA state plan state. Under the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Act (MIOSHA), which is administered by the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth (DLEG), Michigan promulgates its own health and safety regulations. Very few of these regulations are identical to federal OSHA regulations. Copies of the MIOSHA Health and Safety Standards can be downloaded free of charge. Google: DLEG Standards and Legislation (or) [url removed] standards. I also recommend you Google: MIOSHA Construction Fact Sheets – Rough Terrain Fork Trucks. This publication will outline the Michigan construction safety standards pertinent to rough terrain fork truck platforms. (You did not specify what type of activity your company performs. I am assuming that it is some type of “construction activity”).

You did not define what you mean by “lifting”. It could mean elevating personnel in a work platform to perform work from within the work platform, or it could mean transporting personnel to a height where they would disembark to perform work outside of the basket. MIOSHA, Construction Safety Standard, Part 12, Rule 1243(19) (Rough terrain forklift truck scaffolds; equipment requirements; employee safety requirements) requires employees to enter and exit the work platform only when it has been lowered to ground level. An exception allows employees to exit the work platform at an elevated height but only if the work area is otherwise inaccessible or hazardous to reach by other elevating means (ladder. scaffold, etc.). (Note: the exception cannot be used just for “convenience”).

The exception also requires that the employer has knowledge that employees will be leaving the basket and that the employer consents to such activity. It also requires that the employer provide and enforce the use of additional fall protection when employee’s exit or enter the work platform at height.

Rule 1243(5) requires the work platform to have a continuous guardrail system (all sides) with top rail capable of 200 pound force in all directions; with mid rail capable of 200 pound side force, and toeboard with a nominal 4 inch height.

Rule 1243(9) requires all employees elevated on a variable reach forklift work platform to wear approved fall protection safety devices (full body harness and safety lanyard). (This requirement is in addition to the guardrail requirements).

Do not use the ANSI/ASME/ITSDF manufacturer’s requirements for work platforms as the sole source for specifications. OSHA (federal or state) occupational safety standards go beyond these minimum specifications.

Michigan has a general duty clause that allows MIOSHA to enforce consensus safety standards or a body of safety knowledge even if it has not adopted such information by reference or referred to it in the occupational health and safety standards. The General Duty Clause addresses recognized hazards. (MIOSHA, Administrative Rules, Part 13, Inspections and Investigation; Citations and Proposed Penalties. Rule 1303 (1), Scope: “The act requires that every employer covered under the act furnish to his employees employment and a place of employment which are free from recognized hazards that are causing or are likely to cause death or serious physical harm to his employees. The act also requires that employers comply with occupational safety and health standards promulgated under the act, and that employees comply with standards, rules, regulations, and orders issued under the act which are applicable to their own actions and conduct.”

Under the MIOSHA General Duty Clause, the following ANSI/ITSDF rules could be enforceable: ANSI/ITSDF B56.6 (2005), Safety Standard for Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks, 5.15 Elevating Personnel (all). Special attention should be given to the first part of 5.15 (1): “A ro
  • Posted 28 Apr 2008 06:13 AM
  • • Modified 28 Apr 2008 05:30 PM by poster
Wow, awesome knowledge and info!

The initial post was in reference to Pro-Tech Model # WB08D, which is not on the website.

That is correct, a Telehandler is not an aerial work platform. The Pro-Tech Work Box # WB08D was designed as a trash box, but we found guys using it for men, so we redesigned it so that it meets the same standards as say JLG's Work Platform Attachment that they make. This was to cover guys butts in the field and to add more versatility to the telehandler.

We did not envison our Work Box being used a primary work platform.

I would love to learn more about the state of MI's take on the B56.6 [url removed] me a call at the office sometime, my name is Chris.
  • Posted 1 May 2008 06:05 AM
I always play it safe and tell people: in order to enter or exit a work platform on the end of a Telehandler you must have it on the ground.

Now as far as Canada goes, I am pretty sure that the only way you can put a work platform on the end of a telehandler is if that platform has redundent machine controls.
  • Posted 1 May 2008 06:10 AM
Persons considering using a work platform on a rough terrain forklift in the [url removed] should review the following OSHA Standard Interpretations:


1999 - Forklifts in construction: elevating personnel and operator training.

2001 - Applicable standards to lifting personnel on a platform supported by a rough-terrain forklift.
  • Posted 2 May 2008 01:26 AM
OSHA/AEM has published the following guidelines on Rough Terrain Fork-Lift Safety, it has some best practices for using them as Work Platforms:

[url removed]

What are you guy's thoughts on those guidelines?
  • Posted 5 May 2008 11:45 PM
retype the address. Not showing up in your post
  • Posted 5 May 2008 11:48 PM
I guess you cannot post URL's but, to see the new Best Practice Bulletin goto AEM's homepage and then click on safety and training on the right hand side then under the section: AEM Alliances click on OSHA and then click the link under: Best Practices Bulletin.

I would love to get some feedback on those Best Practices from people in the safety field.

To get to AEM's homepage, google: AEM ORG and it will come right up.
  • Posted 6 May 2008 12:27 AM
  • • Modified 6 May 2008 12:28 AM by poster
Went to [url removed] Can you direct me specifically where you wantus to read. Alot of stuff going on that first page so make it easier and direct us to the place on the page you want us to read. Thnx
  • Posted 6 May 2008 03:37 AM
dan m:

Google: [url removed] best practices 3/08

The key paragraph reads: "Rough-terrain forklifts are intended primarily for use as material handlers, but if there is no other practical option available, and if such use is approved by the forklift manufacturer, then use of an approved work platform is allowed, in accordance with the applicable safety standard: ANSI/ITSDF B56.6 - 2005." Preventing Rough Terrain Forklift Accidents, Best Practices Bulletin 3/08 (AEM)

The key words are: no other practical option available (and) if such use is approved by the forklift manufacturer.
  • Posted 6 May 2008 01:54 PM
  • • Modified 6 May 2008 02:17 PM by poster
Persons considering using or marketing non-integrated forklift work platforms should read Safety Alert #39, Is a Forklift a Safe Substitute for an Aerial Platform? which is published by the Fluid Power Safety Institute.

  • Posted 7 May 2008 12:11 AM
  • • Modified 7 May 2008 12:12 AM by poster
To see the "Best Practices Bulletin"

1.)Go to AEM's homepage

2.) On the left side click safety and training

3.) When the new page comes up, go down to the second section called: AEM ALLIANCES

4.) In that AEM ALLIANCES section, click the link for OSHA

5.) Another new page comes up and then go to the section called BEST PRACTICES BULLETIN and then click download a copy.

I would love to get people's feedback on those Best [url removed] am not an expert on OSHA and I am not in the field nearly as much a lot of you other guys are, so I wonder what this means to real field people.
  • Posted 7 May 2008 04:44 AM
Joseph, you are very knowledgable about Rough Terrain Forklift safety!

Are you familiar with nationwide OSHA interpretations? Or just Michigan? Do you work for OSHA?

It seems like your experience/expertise is against using a Telehandler as a work platform. However, there must be some situations where it would be OK, right? JLG makes a work platform attachment. Is it a state by state case where they would be acceptable?

I would love to talk live with you, call me sometime. I think I would learn a lot!
  • Posted 7 May 2008 04:53 AM

I am retired from the occupational safety and health field after 40 years of public and private sector experience. I have worked in two federal OSHA program states and in two state plan OSHA program states. ! cut my OSHA teeth on the original 1970 OSHA federal regulations when they were first introduced nationwide.

Federal OSHA interpretations and state plan OSHA interpretations are fairly consistent with the following statement given in Question/Answer 4 of the OSHA Standards Interpretations, 09/30/1999 - Forklifts in construction: elevating personnel and operator training:

“Question (4): You mention that the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B56.6-1992, Safety Standard for Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks, contains provisions (section 5.15 and 8.25) for controls located at the elevated platform level. Under B56.6-1992, rough terrain forklift trucks may only be used as an elevated work platform if there are no other "practical options" available. You ask us to explain the kind of efforts an employer must make before concluding that there are no other practical options.

Answer: Our standard incorporates the ANSI B56.1 - 1969 standard, not the ASME B56.6-1992 standard that you reference. Before using a rough terrain forklift truck as a work platform, the employer would normally have to consider the feasibility of equipment such as scaffolds, scissor lifts, aerial lifts and ladders. Only after determining that alternatives such as these were infeasible would the use of the forklift be permitted.

The kinds of efforts required of a contractor to determine that there are no other practical options would be those necessary to make an informed judgment about whether equipment such as scaffolds, scissor lifts, aerial lifts and ladders could be used.”

All [url removed] OSHA programs (state or federal) also have a General Duty Clause in the act which created the program. The General Duty Clause requires employers to protect their employees from all “recognized hazards” and not only the regulations promulgated by the OSHA program. An employer can be cited by any [url removed] OSHA program for a violation of a mandatory worded (will, must, shall, etc.) portion of a [url removed] national consensus standard or recognized body consensus.

The General Duty Clause also gives lawyers ammunition in lawsuits even if the OSHA program does not cite. The lawyers merely have to prove to a jury that a “recognized safety hazard” existed and that the employer failed to provide adequate employee protection.

ANSI/ITSDF B56.6 (2005), Safety Standard for Rough Terrain Forklift Trucks, 5.15 Elevating Personnel is very definitive. Rule 5.15.1 “A rough terrain forklift truck shall not be used to lift people unless there is no other practical option.”

Canadian Standard Association (CSA) B335-04, Safety standard for lift trucks, 4.9.9, Elevating Personnel is also definitive. Rule “A rough terrain forklift truck shall not be used to lift personnel unless there is no other practical option.”

American Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) Best Practices 3/08 also refers to “no other practical option available”.

I interpret “no other practical option” as an emergency breakdown situation which requires immediate corrective action to minimize further property damage or danger to personnel, the environment, etc.

Routine tasks, tasks which are or should have been part of a planned work activity, tasks that do not require immediate corrective action, tasks merely for convenience, or tasks to reduce costs (do not want to rent or purchases approved aerial work device) are not exceptions for which there is no other practical option.

Forklifts (rough terrain or otherwise) are designed to handle material. If there is a system failure, it is usually material that is damaged. Aerial work platforms are designed to lift people. They have more redundant safety systems in case of system failure.

My position is the safest device is always<
  • Posted 7 May 2008 09:27 AM
  • • Modified 7 May 2008 09:32 AM by poster
The biggest safety implication with using a forklift to elevate personnel is the fact that one is using a machine that is inherently unstable by design and which becomes more unstable the higher the work platform is raised. Most straight mast forklifts and variable boom forklifts have a three point suspension system. This is a definite safety disadvantage. Most aerial work platform machines designed for lifting personnel have a four point suspension system which increases the safety factor. This is a definite safety advantage.

Straight mast forklifts are more stable when lifting than variable boom forklifts as the combined center of gravity shifts toward the mast on the front end of the machine. This is the wider portion of the imaginary stability triangle. Variable boom forklifts are less stable when lifting than straight mast forklifts as the combined center of gravity shifts toward the variable boom base on the rear end of the machine. This is the narrow portion of the imaginary stability triangle.

Rough terrain forklifts also are affected by many unpredictable physical factors that can cause the combined center of gravity to move beyond the imaginary stability triangle. These include wind gusts, ground shift, and uneven tire pressure from tire air leaks. These factors have a greater impact on the variable boom forklifts due to the combined center of gravity location on the narrow end of the imaginary stability triangle.

Straight mast machines usually require the operator to raise the forks and in a few cases to also drive forward slightly. These operations are not to be conducted simultaneously. Variable boom machines require the operator to boom up/down, to boom out/in, and to maintain the forks level simultaneously, This is done while also ensuring that the boom angle and boom length do not exceed the load chart diagram. This requires that a variable boom forklift operator have a greater degree of skill and knowledge of their machine.

NIOSH fatality reports indicate that many variable boom forklift operators had neither the skills nor knowledge to operate the equipment safely. How many similar operators are out there on construction sites?

The question that should be asked is do you want to risk lives to perform a work task by using a personnel work platform attached to an unstable machine?
  • Posted 7 May 2008 10:14 PM
  • • Modified 7 May 2008 10:20 PM by poster
I just wanted to thank everyone for all the information and insight you all provided. It has been most helpful.
  • Posted 7 May 2008 10:18 PM
It feels great to join people that talk about lifting equipment supplies and business.
  • Posted 21 May 2019 11:13 PM
Total replies: 20. Showing items 1 - 20 of 20 results.

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