5 Forklift Safety Tips
Proper forklift safety training is crucial to being able to operate one effectively. In fact, according to the United States Department of Labor, “approximately 20 to 25 percent (of forklift accidents) are at least in part caused by inadequate training.” Along with receiving the necessary certifications and safety knowledge, be sure to practice these forklift operation safety tips to protect yourself and your coworkers.
Perform Pre-Operation Checks
Forklifts, like any other piece of sensitive machinery, have the potential of breaking with little notice. To reduce the safety risk of using a malfunctioning lift, be sure to perform a preliminary check before you begin operating it. Whether you’re using a Toyota electric forklift or an alternative model, some of the things to be on the lookout for include malfunctioning brakes, steering, controls, and warning devices. If you notice questionable activity with these parts, report them to management immediately.
Wear the Proper Clothing and Seatbelt
Before you begin operating a forklift, you must put on the company-issued clothing. This often includes a hard hat, a hi-visibility jacket, and sturdy boots or shoes. Manufacturers also recommend that you wear tighter clothing as loose fabrics can become caught in the lift’s moving gears, which is a serious hazard. Upon sitting in the lift, you should also put on your seatbelt to ensure that you’re secure before the machine starts moving.
Follow the Designated Road Ways
Since forklifts usually have designated routes through individual warehouses, it’s important that you use them to reduce the chances of running into your coworkers and other operational lifts. Additionally, you should also be taking care when moving through narrow areas and even use a spotter when needed to avoid collisions.
Check Load Before Moving it
It’s commonplace to be lifting loads that will block your vision or have an unusual center of balance. It’s for this reason that you should be checking the security of your cargo before you begin transporting it. This process also includes checking the weight of the load and using the proper-sized pallets when necessary. These extra steps will make the transport process safer for you as well as prevent damage to what you’re moving.
Refuel Only at Designated Locations
Since fueling stations are often fire hazards, operators can only refuel a forklift at specific locations across a complex. This protects the warehouse as a whole and reduces the risk of sparking a potentially disastrous fire. Be sure to switch the lift-off before you begin fueling and keep any open flames or sparks away from the area to further reduce the hazards.