Forklifts are extremely useful vehicles in the workplace if they are used properly and safely by competent and trained operators. Ensuring forklift safety is essential to avoid accidents.
Forklift trucks can be one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment in the workplace, if not handled with care and with due safety measures.
Some of the common faults, affecting the safe operation of forklift trucks are:
- Faulty brakes
- Worn hydraulic hoses
- Low hydraulic fluid levels
- Sub-standard tyres
- Sub-standard seat
- Operator controls which are working properly or are not marked correctly
- Lights and warning devices that are not working
Neglecting forklift safety rules can be dangerous.
Now let’s look at some simple forklift safety tips for operators which can ensure forklift safety.
Forklift operators should be competent and well trained
Individuals with forklift safety training and the license should only operate a forklift. Workers who do not have enough exposure, should not be allowed to operate the forklift.
Proper clothing must be worn by forklift operators
To avoid risky situations, operators must always ensure to wear appropriate clothing. Proper safety shoes, hi-visibility jacket and hard hat should be worn.
Examine the forklift before use
Regular maintenance of the forklift and checking of tyres, brakes, steering, controls, warning devices, etc. is essential before its safe operation and should be checked before its use.
Always ensure safe speed
Overruling forklift safety and operating at an unsafe speed can be the biggest mistake. Drivers should never exceed the speed limits and should take proper care while driving.
Drive only when you have clear visibility
Do not drive the forklift, in case of poor vision it can lead to hazards. Ask for helpers to assist you in required circumstances.
Stability of the load should be kept in mind
Forklifts with unstable loads are at higher risks of causing injuries and damage. Always look that the load is carefully stacked and secured before moving the forklift. Overhead objects should be looked for while lifting the loads as they might cause an accident.
Leading cause of operator’s death, which involves forklifts, is overturning. Cornering too fast, driving on uneven grounds, across inclines, with raised forks, striking low doors or beams, etc. are some of the important causes of forklifts overturning. Braking too quickly and towing disabled forklifts, colliding with another vehicle, can also cause overturns and fatalities. To be effective, a forklift must be maneuverable.
Pre-use forklift safety checklist should always be maintained and checked whenever any forklift operation is undertaken.
Proper forklift safety training and adherence to forklift safety rules can reduce forklift accidents.
Share your views and queries. Happy lifting.