Feasibility study on the realization of an information video on the potential risks associated with the use of lifting platforms on goods vehicles for unloading

Project No. IFA 5129


completed 12/2014


Numerous accidents have occurred during the unloading of vehicles with lifting platforms on loading ramps. During unloading, the height of the vehicle body is adjusted continually, either automatically or manually, since the body of the vehicle would otherwise rise as the weight of the load decreased. In the accidents reported however, the lifting platform was no longer resting on the loading ramp, but was somewhat in front of it. This gave rise to a tripping hazard and a corresponding potential source of accidents. The tripping hazard can be prevented from arising by safe behaviour. An organizational measure for reduction of the accident risk was planned in the form of an information video. The video was to draw attention to the risk of a tripping hazard arising, and was to describe behaviour for preventing this from occurring.

For production of this video, technical details were required of how the tripping point arises. It was established during the accident investigations that the goods vehicles move forwards; the reasons for this were unclear, however. These technical details still require full clarification and are to some degree disputed.

The aim of the project was to develop an interactive 3D model that could serve to explain and illustrate how the relevant technical processes arise. The feasibility study was also to examine whether the software available at the IFA's SUTAVE laboratory, such as Worldviz, could subsequently be used to create an interactive information video for use in preventive activity.


In order for a 3D model of the accident patterns to be created, the available information on the incidence of the accidents was first collated and evaluated. This information was used to produce a possible storyboard for the intended information video, in order for the required interactive functionality of the 3D model to be considered and developed in full. Suitable and relevant 3D design data and objects were also surveyed and obtained. These were then developed further within the 3D modelling program, and a pilot 3D model was produced and tested for future clarification of the technical details of the accidents.


A 3D model of the accident patterns on lifting platforms was produced within this feasibility study. This interactive model can be used to simulate movement patterns of components on a goods vehicle, individually and in combination. In contrast to real life, many movement effects can be amplified in this model, enabling the slightest movements to be detected. The suspension travel of the axles for example can be increased in the model. The model will be available to experts in the future to support illustration and communication for the purpose of discussion and clarification of technical details and accident patterns. It was also demonstrated which visualization methods could be used – following clarification of the technical processes on a lifting platform – to produce an information video by means of the software available in the IFA's SUTAVE laboratory.

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Financed by:
  • Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung e. V. (DGUV)
Research institution(s):
  • Institut für Arbeitsschutz der Deutschen Gesetzlichen Unfallversicherung (IFA)
  • Unfallkasse Post und Telekom (UKPT)


Type of hazard:

design of work and technology, unfavorable, adverse work environment, qualification/basic and further training


accident prevention, workplace design, safety-compatible behavior

Description, key words:

lifting platform, goods vehicle, accident prevention, safe behaviour, VR software, 3D models