Working under raised vehicles and machinery is dangerous!

Date published: 30 May 2019

Lifting plant and equipment can cause accidents if they are used unsafely or poorly maintained.

Working under raised vehicles and machinery

Vehicles falling/rolling off incorrectly positioned jacks or stands, particularly where they are not chocked, are a serious cause of fatal accidents. Working beneath a vehicle is often required to check for faults, servicing and repairs etc, but because these tasks are so common, people get used to working under potentially lethal weights without recognising the implications.

Unfortunately, serious and fatal accidents happen even though the dangers and precautions are well known. You must always use the right equipment for the job. Don't be tempted to take short cuts or use inappropriate equipment when lifting or raising heavy vehicles or machinery.

Use equipment correctly

  • make sure there are safe working procedures in place when moving heavy loads, particularly when they are raised
  • use the correct pins for axle stands - screwdrivers, nails and bolts are not acceptable
  • use stands on a hard, level surface e.g. concrete and avoid lifting on sloping ground
  • securely chock wheels remaining on the ground
  • make sure that all lifting points for jacks and stands are correct for that vehicle - consult the vehicle manufacturer's handbook for guidance
  • do not exceed the rated capacity (safe working load) of any lifting equipment
  • ensure that vehicles are always properly supported - do not rely on jacks alone





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