HSE issues LPG forklift alert

News Story
- 22 Jun 2023 ( #1133 ) - London, United Kingdom
1 min read
The UKMHA has also raised concerns about LPG forklifts
The UKMHA has also raised concerns about LPG forklifts

The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) has issued a safety notice for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) powered forklifts after several reports of the equipment catching on fire.

The safety alert says a build-up of deposits in the vaporiser units of LPG-powered vehicles had led to a number of fires.

The safety authority said anyone responsible operating, supplying, inspecting or maintaining LPG-powered forklift should:

  • Review safe system of work in relation to the use of all LPG powered forklifts and similar vehicles;
  • Provide information, instruction and training for all operators about the hazards raised in the alert; and
  • Park LPG vehicles in well ventilated areas free from flammable material, particularly when parking overnight or for longer periods.

“Deposits in vaporiser units, flow regulators and shut off valves cause the truck to fail to start, particularly from cold,” the alert says. 

“Build-up of deposits can lead to sticking valves and the mixture supplied to the engine being too rich to be ignited.

“Repeated starting attempts can result in the release of unburned LPG, which in extreme cases can be ignited, setting fire to the vehicle and surrounding materials.”

The alert advises that if an LPG-powered forklift does not start within the normal few seconds, the operator should not continue to turn over the engine using the starter or spray volatile agents into the air intake in an attempt to aid starting. 

“Get off the truck and close the shut off valve to isolate the gas bottle,” the alert says.

“Secure the truck to prevent further starting attempts. Ensure the area is well ventilated (and) do not attempt to solve or repair the problem yourself, arrange for a competent maintenance engineer to do a check of the LPG system.”

In November last year, the UK Material Handling Association warned against excessive cranking over of the engine and repeated starting attempts for LPG forklifts. 

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