Forklift trucks are incredibly useful equipment used in many industries to improve productivity, speed up processes, and protect employee health and safety. But they can also be extremely dangerous. Thousands of forklift accidents happen every year, sometimes resulting in serious injury and usually caused by inappropriate use or a lack of operator training.
Here are some tips that will help you keep your workplace safe and get the most out of your equipment and people.
1. Inspect The Lift Truck Before Starting Work
Before even getting on the forklift, the driver must perform an inspection of the vehicle to ensure that the components of the equipment are in good condition. From the tires and forks to the battery and the oil and coolant levels, a thorough check is necessary. Check out the used forklift sales at Adaptalift.
2. Check The Proper Operation Of The Lift Truck When It Is Running
It is the driver’s responsibility to check that the lift truck does not represent any danger. It all starts with checking the direction of the forklift and the effectiveness of the front and rear brakes. The hydraulic controls for tilting and raising the mast should also be tested. For employee safety, the horn must be functional at all times.
3. Ensure Adequate Visibility At All Times
For his own safety and that of other employees, the driver of the lift truck must have full visibility throughout the operation. Consequently, he must adjust the convex safety mirrors, the back-up alarms – audible and light – in order to signal his presence to pedestrians in the vicinity. It is also strongly recommended that you look into the distance to spot potential dangers.
4. Identify The Causes Of Tilt-Over
A forklift may tip forward if the load is too heavy or if the load’s center of gravity is farther than the recommended center of gravity. A forklift truck can also tip onto its side, with excessive speed and too narrow a turning radius being the two main causes. If a rollover occurs, it is important to remain in the lift truck at all times.
5. Respect Certain Safety Instructions
Several basic rules must be observed when handling a forklift. In addition to knowing how to get on and off the vehicle safely, the driver should operate the forklift at a safe speed and should be prepared to brake at all times. During a maneuver, he must ensure that there are no pedestrians in the area. When traveling near pedestrians, he must always be on the alert and take the utmost care.
6. Handle Loads In A Safe Manner
When handling a load, the driver must be patient and thorough. After delicately lifting the load, he proceeds to the designated stacking location. It is only after having immobilized the forklift that it can lift the load to the desired height. The driver will then bring the fork arm to the horizontal, then slowly drop the load. Before disengaging the fork and backing up the lift truck, it is important to make sure that the way is clear. For unloading loads, or unloading, the procedure is essentially the same, but in the reverse order.
7. Clear Traffic Lanes
Obstructed traffic lanes can endanger workers and result in property damage to equipment and forklifts. Therefore, keeping the aisles free allows the free movement of forklifts and greatly reduces the risk of accidents.