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Forklifts are one of the most common pieces of heavy equipment used in warehouses and manufacturing facilities in the US. While brand new forklifts almost always come with safety features such as horns, riding lights and backup alarms, what about older models?
Forklifts that are still being used years or even decades after they were originally manufactured probably won’t always have the latest safety features. That makes them potentially dangerous because without a working horn, a backup alarm and the appropriate lighting, they could be more likely to be involved in a collision.
And if when a forklift weighing several tons collides with a shelving unit or, worse yet, a pedestrian, the results could be tragic.
Retrofitting Older Forklifts
That’s why it’s important to consider retrofitting older model forklifts with the safety equipment you need to keep your vehicle safe no matter how many years it has been on the job.
It’s one thing to want to get the most out of your existing equipment, but if it’s safety features don’t work or were never included in the first place, you could be putting yourself and your company at risk. Accidents and injuries can lead to lawsuits, safety investigations and even criminal and civil prosecution.
Affordable and Easy
Fortunately, adding the necessary safety equipment to your existing forklift is not only affordable, but very easy. Specialized backup alarms designed to be retrofitted onto older model vehicles can be installed in just a few minutes and will provide years of service. Emitting a loud beep or alarm, these devices let people know when your forklift is on the move so they can get out of the way.
Similarly, checking to see if your forklift’s horn is working should be part of the safety inspection that should be conducted anytime the forklift is used. If the horn is not working properly or is not functioning at all, it needs to be repaired or replaced before the vehicle is allowed to be put back into service.
Repairing or Replacing the Horn
Often repairing a broken horn is as simple as replacing a fuse or rewiring the device. But even if the horn needs to be replaced completely, it’s usually not a substantial investment, especially when compared to what an accident or injury can cost your business.
Riding lights, flashing lights or other lighting devices are also good add-ons to older model forklifts. These help other workers see when a forklift is approaching and can also assist the operator in seeing where he is going and what he is doing.
Working in a dimly lit area or in a tight space can be dangerous, not only to your operator but to other workers and the nearby supplies and products. For a very little investment, you can upgrade your forklift so that it can supply all the lighting you need to run your vehicle safely and efficiently every time.,
For a complete list of safety features that can be retrofitted to your older model forklift, click on the horns and alarms page of the Forklift Accessories website.