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January 8, 2010

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Work equipment- Beware the risks of second-hand lift trucks

Pyroban, which provides explosion-proof modifications for forklifts, says it is worried that consumers are buying second-hand vehicles that have not been properly maintained. It is warning that some of these vehicles are so old that they are not ATEX-compliant, meaning they don’t meet industry standards.Pyroban customer services manager, Darren Boiling, said: “There is nothing more dangerous than buying and using a poorly-maintained explosion-proof forklift in a hazardous area. Unfortunately, buyers are faced with increasing numbers through auction websites, or through dealers and traders.“This is where it could become dangerous, as some dealers do not understand what they are selling. What may appear to be an explosion-proof truck may be completely unsafe and cause an explosion. Even if it is safe, how does the dealer know if it meets the specification? What Zone, T class, Gas Group is it built for?”Companies that own, lease, or hire any type of forklift have an obligation to ensure that these vehicles hold a valid annual report of thorough examination. If the truck is explosion-proof, a series of safety-system checks should be carried out by a competent person.An annual safety audit would ensure that the explosion-proof safety system is still safe. This audit is carried out onsite, and looks at the safety system in detail with thorough inspection of all safety-critical components, and checking there are no sources of ignition, such as heat, sparks, or other forms of energy. A certificate is awarded if the truck is deemed safe and passes all checks.Warned Boiling: “If there is an explosion resulting from the use of a second hand explosion-proof truck, an investigation will look at the history, service regimes, parts used, if the engineer was trained, and when it was last audited by an independent inspector. Despite any business loss, insurance may be invalidated and it could lead to prosecution.”For more information about explosion protection, visit or call 01273 466200.

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