The recent death of a builder in Manhattan has highlighted the importance of lift safety throughout the construction industry. Sadly, he fell over 30 feet to his death from a forklift cage. This tragedy should never have happened and should not occur again.
This is why the correct safety features are imperative. It’s as serious as life and death. We’ve taken the liberty of listing the essential safety features that all VRCs should have.
1. A Fitted Enclosure
A securely fitted enclosure is essential to lift safety. These ensure no one moves any part of the lift. Woven wire partitions are a popular choice for an enclosure. These have an open mesh format and stop workers from accessing dangerous areas of the VRC while giving the operator full view of what’s going on.
Protecting accessible sides of the VRC is imperative. The exception to this is loading access. In this situation, protection isn’t necessary.
The enclosure must be at least eight feet high and shouldn’t allow anything more substantial than two inches in diameter through. However, these rules don’t apply if the lift is traveling to a balcony because its location protects the VRC. In circumstances where this occurs, only minimal enclosures are necessary.
2. Safety Mechanisms and Features?
The following safety mechanisms and features are an absolute must. All VRCs should be fitted with them, so be sure to check for this before purchasing.
- Over-travel switches. These electronic switches prevent your VRC from over-traveling.
- Broken chain safety brakes. These stop the carriage from dropping if the chain breaks.
- Slack chain switches. These stop the motor should the chain become slack.
- Overload circuit. This system stops the motor if the capacity of the VRC exceeds its capabilities.
- Fail-safe electric brake. In the event of a failed power supply, this stops the carriage descending.
- Door electro-mechanical interlocks. These stop people from accessing the lift while the carriage is moving.
If you’re unsure whether the VRC you’re looking at includes the above features, be sure to ask a salesperson. This way you can be fully confident in the product you’re buying.
3. A Safety Cam
In the event of a chain break, a safety cam automatically rotates the chain back into the correct position, preventing carriage descent. Once the correct chain tension strikes, the VRC can continue to operate safely.
4. A Decklock System
A quality Decklock system will automatically ensure the carriage never descends uncontrollably in the event of an overload. This is crucial for lifts operating at high levels.
When a Decklock system is fitted, you can be confident that your employees can perform their work safely. They’ll comfortably be able to load the carriage without the aid of a forklift.
Would You Like More Information on Lift Safety?
If you would like to find out more about VRC safety, please feel free to contact us today. One of our professional team members will be more than happy to talk with you.
We look forward to hearing from you!