Can I operate a fork lift truck with a damaged Operator Protection Guard (OPG)?
The Operator Protection Guard (OPG) on a Counterbalance Fork Lift (FLT) is designed to protect the operator in two different ways. The first is to protect the operator in the event of the machine rolling over. This level of protection is often referred to as Roll Over Protection, abbreviated to ROP. The second form of protection is to protect the operator from falling objects, often referred to as Falling Object Protection, abbreviated to FOP.
Although ROP is a function of the OPG, it is highly unusual for a vertically masted FLT to overturn by a full 180 degrees. This is due to the mast, which will almost always restrict the FLT to a 90 degree roll over. Therefore, some damage to the OPG is acceptable provided that, within the application, there is minimal risk of falling objects.
In summary, this means that, so long as the FLT is operating in an application where there is minimal risk of falling objects from overhead (from loaded racking for example), then a competent person may deem it acceptable to continue to utilise the FLT, with a restriction confining it to such applications, as described above.
The requirements of Thorough Examination may provide some help and the relevant pages from the TE Training Material are below for your review.
Essentially, it is down to the competent person to determine whether the damage has compromised the OPG in the protection offered to the operator against falling objects, within the area of application but, if you have any doubt, then we would always recommend that you replace.