The British Columbia Workers' Compensation Board is reviewing the use of seat belts on forklifts after an accident in which a forklift operator and his forklift fell off a barge into the frigid waters of Vancouver's port.
The Canada Business News Network reported Curtis De Coste, 24, backed his forklift over the edge of a barge while unloading recyclable glass from a cruise ship on May 21 (Forkliftaction.com News #210
"I put a pallet down, probably too close to the edge, because when I went to take the forks out from underneath the pallet, I ran out of room," De Coste said.
He said it was fortunate he was not wearing his seat belt at the time.
"I think wearing a seat belt on a barge [is] probably a bad idea. If I had been wearing my seat belt, I'd have had to fight to get it off when I reached the bottom [of the port waters]," he said.
Gary Prosser, owner of All Lift Truck Training, in St John, New Brunswick, said seat belt use for mobile equipment on barges or wharves had come up in the past.
"It's not your normal tip-over or falling situation ... you're entering the water and your forklift is a 6,000lb to 8,000lb or greater anchor that you would be anchored to."