In this post we’re going to be talking about important aspects of safety when you’re operating a forklift truck. We hope that you find our safety tips of use to you when you’re operating a forklift in daily work. If you’re a supervisor and you manage a team of forklift drivers, make sure you pass on these tips to your team, so they are always operating safely.
When a driver is operating a forklift truck, make they are wearing appropriate clothing. This will of course mean safety gear such as hardwearing safety shoes, a hard hat and a hi-visibility jacket. Wearing loose clothing is a recipe for disaster as they can get caught up in machinery, which could result in a serious accident.
Make sure your forklift truck driver checks the equipment before putting them into use. Check for faults and report them immediately. Never use the forklift truck if any aspect of it is in need of repair. Think about what you’re going to load on a forklift and whether it’s suitable for picking up and stacking.
Seat and Control Checks
Always make sure the seat has been adjusted accordingly so it is in line with the controls. Make sure the operator has easy access to everything that’s needed to control the forklift truck. The mirrors and seating position should be checked and adjusted so that the truck can be controlled safely.
Make sure the forklift truck is never started up until the seating has been adjusted to suit the operator and that they are safely contained within the cabin of the truck.
Pay Attention to What’s Around You
Keep an eye on what’s around you when operating a forklift truck. Check behind you and to your side, use your mirrors carefully. Only use the forklift for its designated route and not outside of it. Keep an eye out on all signs for clearance heights and permitted loads.
Take note when exiting or entering premises and the height of your forklift truck and the load you are carrying – make sure they can leave and enter safely. Be especially careful when you are near a ramp or loading dock, your forklift truck could easily go over the edge if you’re not careful.
Careful with Speed
Always be extra careful with your speed, especially when there are corners or turns. It doesn’t take much for your forklift to get out of control and cause an accident.
Hazards to Avoid
If you see bumps and uneven surfaces stay away and keep clear of any slippery areas. Make sure people know you are there and use your horn. Especially when entering and exiting a building. Also, make sure you have enough space to turn around or stop.
Make Sure You Can See Clearly
Don’t operate your forklift truck in any way if visibility is not good. Reverse when it’s sensible to do so and always make sure where you are loading or positioning your load has clear visibility.
Loads Should Be Carefully Checked
Before you carry a load make sure it’s appropriate and stable for your vehicle. Don’t lift anything if it isn’t safe to do so. Make sure the operator is trained to make sure the load is carefully positioned on the pallet or skid.
Make sure the load is evenly distributed so as to avoid it collapsing from the truck, and never overload the forklift, again, it’s another accident waiting to happen. Never load or unload your forklift on a ramp or uneven surface.
Keep in mind that forklifts are for carrying loads and nothing else, so don’t use it for anything other than what it was intended for.
Keep your hands clear of the mast – it could cause as serious injury – and never let anyone walk under the load you’re carrying.
There should be one designated area to fuel up, only use this area and no other.
Make sure that ramps are entered by going in an upward direction, and when going down, make sure the forklift truck is in reverse.
Training and Qualifications
Make sure that anyone driving and operating the forklift truck is qualified and trained to do so. They should have a licence to say they are qualified to operate the equipment. This could have serious implications for you, should there be an accident on you premises.
When the Forklift is No Longer in Use
Always make sure you place the forklift truck in a safe place once you are no longer using it. At the end of a shift it should be placed in an authorised area with the park brake in place with the keys removed. Make sure it is turned off and NEVER leave the forklift running while it is not being used.
We hope you found our forklift truck safety tips useful, we want to encourage you to be safe at work with your forklift truck, and if you think carefully about what we’ve suggested above, you and your forklift operators should have peace of mind when operating a forklift truck.
If you have any further questions or would like to hire a forklift or buy a forklift, contact us today.