A forklift work platform is an attachment designed to be used in conjunction with a forklift that is meant to allow a person to be lifted safely by the lift. The forklift work platform is usually a flat, metal surface with raised walls or cages to enclose the worker; the platform also usually features some sort of bar or bars that allow the worker to wear a harness and connect to the platform for added safety. The tines of the fork slide into openings beneath the platform, and the entire unit is secured to the forklift with chains to ensure it does not disconnect during use.
Forklifts are generally not used to lift humans, since standing on the individual blades of the fork can be quite dangerous. The forklift work platform makes it possible for a worker to be raised by the forklift without the risk of falling off the blades; the worker will have a steady, wide platform on which to stand when doing work at an elevated level. Whenever the forklift work platform is in use, the driver of the forklift must be at the controls of the machine to ensure the safety of the worker on the platform.
The platform itself usually features a backing that separates the worker from the lift mechanism. This will prevent the worker from getting limbs or articles of clothing stuck in the moving parts of the lift, and it can also provide a bit of stability for the unit when it is being lifted or lowered. The floor of the forklift work platform is made of metal, and the surface of the floor will usually have some texture to prevent slipping. Doors or gates are used to enclose the worker, and to allow easy access when the worker is entering or leaving the unit.
The walls or rails of the forklift work platform serve several purposes: they will prevent the worker from falling off of the platform, they will prevent the worker from being crushed should the lift press the platform against a solid object to firmly, and they will often allow the worker to attach a hook or carabiner to the railings so he or she can secure himself via a harness to the work platform. This is a safety procedure that will prevent the worker from falling to the ground should he or she slip off the platform or otherwise lose footing.