Safety alert 07/2013 - Safe use of two-post vehicle hoists

This publication is for: 
Employee / workerEmployer

A mechanic died recently when the vehicle he was working on fell from a two-post vehicle hoist.  The vehicle was positioned on the hoist when it moved on one of the support arms, causing it to drop at an angle.  This caused the other hoist support arms to move, and as a result the vehicle fell, trapping the mechanic underneath it. 


Contributing factors 

  • The position of the pads on the sub-frame under the vehicle.
  • The four pads on the support arms were not to the manufacturer’s specification or type.
  • Not all the support arms’ safety locking mechanisms were working.
  • Maintenance of the hoist was not performed as per manufacturer’s recommendations.

Action required 

  1. Vehicle hoists must be inspected before use each day by the operator.
  2. Hoists must be regularly maintained by a competent person, as per Australian/New Zealand Standard AS/NZS 2550.9:1996 - Cranes - safe use - vehicle hosts and the manufacturer’s instructions.
  3. Inspection and maintenance records must be kept (ie logbook).  
  4. Safety devices fitted on hoists must be in good working order. If in a poor state of repair, not working or missing, the hoist must be tagged out of service until the safety devices are replaced or repaired.
  5. Parts used to repair hoists must be to the manufacturer’s specifications.
  6. A person repairing a hoist must be competent.
  7. Employees to be provided with adequate and appropriate information, instruction, training and supervision necessary for safe operation of the hoist.

Further information 

  • AS/NZS 2550.9:1996 - Cranes - safe use - vehicle hosts
  • AS/NZS 1418.9 Cranes (including hoists and winches) - Vehicle hoists
  • Contacting the WorkSafe Contact Centre on 1300 307 877 or email 
  • Vehicle hoist manufacturers.

This Alert contains safety information following inquiries made by WorkSafe about an incident or unsafe practice. The information contained in this Alert does not necessarily include the outcome of WorkSafe’s action with respect to an incident. WorkSafe does not warrant the information in this Alert is complete or up to date and does not accept any liability to any person for the information in this report or as to its use.

Last updated 01 Aug 2018

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