Australian Standards are documents that set out specifications, procedures and guidelines that aim to ensure products, services and systems are at a consistently high, safe, consistent and reliable standard. Forklifts have some of the most well developed Australian Standards, with the majority of standards coming under AS 2359. Forklift seat belts are one area that has changed recently.
You’re responsible for keeping up to date with changes to forklift standards
In business you are responsible for keeping up to date with changes in laws and the latest standards. One forklift standard that has recently been changed is forklift seat belts.
Manufacturing is always improving
As manufacturing improves so does the associated standards. Whilst the Australian Standards are not law, some are . Its always a good idea to make sure you are aware of what standards apply to your industry. It can go a long way to improving processes and standards in your business.
What’s the latest standard for forklift operator seats and restraints
The latest revision of the AS 2359.1 occurred in May 2017.
Where seatbelts are fitted they shall be interlocked to prevent the truck from travel motion (forward or reverse) until the seatbelt is buckled, except in the case of tow tractors. In addition, the seatbelt interlock shall include the sequencing/logic of the seatbelt switch with a seat pressure switch. The weight of the operator on the seat shall be detected prior to the seatbelt switch being engaged. The system shall not be readily overridden. Means shall be provided to discourage unbuckling of the seat belt while the truck is in motion. For example, activation of an audible alarm or switching to neutral. If it is developed in the future and it is deemed reasonably practicable, such technology may be fitted to tow tractors to control the risk of the operator or passenger being ejected.
What does the change to forklift seat and belts mean in layman terms
Now to break that down into simple terms – forklift seat belts where fitted SHALL :-
- Be Interlocked to prevent the truck moving forward or reverse UNTIL the seatbelt is buckled.
- In sequence of :-
- Operator sitting in the seat PRIOR
- to the seatbelt being engaged
- The System shall not be able to be overridden
Its pretty simple, be aware, it might save you time and money and prevent a serious accident in your business.