According to Australian Forklift Training , it is against the law for anyone to stand or be raised on the fork arms, a pallet or anything other than an approved work platform or safety cage.
Almost every forklift operator has lifted someone standing on a pallet at some point. The real problems come when the person being lifted is injured in any way and is not covered by insurance.
Minor injuries can cost a company a lot of money and serious injuries or a death will cause the sort of investigation that can cripple a small business.
When someone falls from a lifted pallet and is injured, they will usually do one of two things:
- Sue the individual operator who lifted them up.
- Sue the company that they work for.
If the forklift operators are not licensed, they will incur a WorkCover fine and risk loosing their license indefinitely. The company will have to prove that they have procedures in place for operating a forklift and that raising someone on a pallet or fork arms is against their procedures. They will also have to show what steps they take to ensure that their operators are trained and aware of such procedures.
According to Australian Forklift Training, proper work platforms can be bought and approved for forklifts so that people can be raised legally. The work platform would have to be made and certified by one of the few authorised manufacturers and would have to be approved for use on the forklifts.
Using anything other than an approved work platform to lift people with a forklift is illegal. Work platforms are only supposed to be used to raise or lower people, not drive with someone inside.
This is why several companies choose to hire or buy scissor lifts for stock takes and maintenance to factory lights instead of using work platforms. Scissor lifts are safe as they require only one person to operate and can legally drive with a person raised in air.