Personnel lifts – Why not just use a forklift?

Constr 70_600S_App_18Personnel lifts, man lifts or stock pickers are among the many names that vertical cherry pickers or vertical mast lifts are known by.

These safe, versatile lifts offer a host of benefits that trumps the use of forklifts in warehouses and retail facilities. However, many facilities still use forklifts to lift workers to height for numerous tasks, such as inventory management, including stock counts and light stock picking, as well as general maintenance purposes such as replacing light bulbs.

So why not use a forklift?

While common practice, using forklifts to take workers to height is unsafe and also unproductive.

Many facilities allow staff members to work on pallets attached to forklifts. This is an extremely dangerous practice and the risk of a fall from height is significant. It is no surprise that this practice carries a very high risk of fatalities and is therefore also a contravention of the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act. Eazi Sales & Service has been working closely with forklift companies as well as warehouse operations to educate staff on the dangers of such practices.

The OHS Act Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Act does allow for the use of an engineer-certified man basket to be bolted to a fork to lift a worker to height. However, the worker in the man basket is still at risk, because although at lower risk of a fall from height, he/she has no control over the movement of the forklift and can therefore not prevent accident risks only visible from the man basket, such as collisions at height or crushing or entrapment hazards.

In addition to the safety risks, this practice is also unproductive. By using forklifts to take workers to height, the forklifts that are required to move products in and out of the warehouse are tied up and this can bring production to a standstill. Furthermore, additional labour is required, as a forklift requires an operator as well as workers to work on the platform or pallet.

Using the right cherry pickers for lifting workers to height, instead of forklifts, can produce massive increases in productivity. Companies that were struggling to achieve 50% of their stock taking objectives using forklifts are now able to exceed their targets by 25% by using cherry pickers, as productivity is no longer hampered by the availability of forklifts and the lack of additional operators.

JLG’s range of vertical lifts, including a range of stable, safe and electric-powered scissor lifts and vertical mast lifts, are ideal for tasks such as stock picking, stock control and maintenance. Available exclusively through Eazi Sales & Service in southern Africa, these vertical lifts are compact and highly maneuverable to fit in narrow spaces, such as warehouse aisles, and enable a single worker to operate this equipment and work on the platform.

Safer, more productive and more practical, vertical cherry pickers lift workers safely to heights exceeding 10m, with sufficient space on the platform for the operator as well as stock and maintenance equipment.

Speak to us at Eazi Sales & Service to find the ideal scissor lift or vertical mast lift to improve safety and boost productivity in your warehouse or retail facility.

About the Author: Gary