3 Forklift Safety Tips to Follow Prior to Operating

safetyWhen driving a forklift, safety must always come first. Making sure workers are always following proper safety procedures has to be set at a high priority by management to all forklift operators.  Enforcement and continuous safety training must be presented to ensure workers are always cautious.  Accidents occur more in construction sites and warehouses, where forklift trucks, as well as other industrial vehicles and equipment are used.  This therefore makes forklift safety even a higher consideration—due to the high level of accident risk associated with the forklift’s work environment.

When it comes to forklifts, safety needs to be emphasized at the very beginning of every day, and should be done before the driver even begins operating the vehicle. Having a supervisor ensure the operator has fully followed every procedure prior to operating the forklift can effectively increase safety in the work environment. Making sure this is done on a daily basis provides two great benefits.  For one, it ensures the supervisor that the forklift operator is fully prepared and following all guidelines established.  Secondly, it places an importance on safety before the forklift operator even starts operating the forklift—as the driver senses the importance of safety by always making sure all safety requirements are met prior to operating.

So what safety procedures should be checked off before a forklift operator begins their day? They will actually vary–dependent upon what safety hazards exist within the work environment.  However, below are four common safety preparations all businesses should consider placing onto their “forklift operator safety precaution checklist.”

1. Proper Clothing and Safety Equipment

The proper clothing and safety equipment that is required to be worn will vary upon the safety hazards existing within the work environment.  However clothing should not be loose, as they can get stuck in the equipment. When it comes to proper safety wear, the most comonly required equipment includes steel work boots, safety glasses, a hard hat, gloves, as well as a safety jacket that must be worn at all times.

2. Proper Inspection

The operators should properly inspect the equipment prior to use.  Proper inspection should be done at the beginning of every operator’s shift.  Here are the most common items inspected on a forklift:

  • Make sure the forklift is clean
  • Check the level of the oil, fuel, and radiator fluid
  • Ensure that the battery has been fully charged
  • Check to make sure nothing is damaged or loose
  • Check that the horn is working and loud enough to alert
  • Make sure the seat belt properly functions

 3. Forklift Attachments are Properly Secured

Forklift attachments allow forklifts the capability of being used for other purposes than transporting material.  There are now a wide variety of different attachments available.  If you are interested in browsing the different available attachments, you can click here.  Some of the most popular attachments can turn a forklift truck into a dump truck, a sweeper, as well a small crank machine.  If forklift attachments are being used, they must be properly attached or they could cause serious casualties.  Make sure all attachments are properly attached and the operator follows proper attachment procedures prior to dispatching forklift operator.  The operator should also be properly trained in operating the forklift truck with the attachment.

About Kristen Pryor

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