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Happy National Forklift Safety Day! Today is Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 and all over the United States the industry is celebrating Forklift Safety Awareness! Workplaces throughout the U.S. focus on forklift safety year round and these five fundamentals in improving awareness of the dangers of forklifts are a great way to stay in tune.
Conduct Regular Forklift Inspections
A broken forklift is a dangerous forklift. Yet many workplaces use their forklifts almost continuously. Anytime any tool is in constant use, there’s going to be more wear and tear. So to protect against forklift failure or breakdowns, it’s imperative that comprehensive inspections be conducted regularly.
How regularly? Before every shift is ideal — especially if the vehicle is used for multiple shifts per day. But at the very least, a complete forklift inspection should be conducted at least daily. Make sure to keep permanent records of these inspections so you can track problems and watch for wear before it becomes an issue.
Use Only Authorized Forklift Attachments
With the right attachments, a forklift can perform a wide variety of new and helpful tasks. But it’s important to use only attachments that are designed for your particular brand and model of forklift.
Using the wrong forklift attachment or trying to use an attachment for something it wasn’t designed to do is just asking for trouble. If you aren’t sure about a particular attachment, check the owner’s manual or visit the manufacturer’s website to view and download its specifications.
Forklift operators are some of the busiest people in any workplace. But trying to do too much too quickly increases the dangers of these powerful machines exponentially.
Be careful and slow down, especially when working near pedestrians or when approaching corners or blind intersections. Efficiency is important, but safety always needs to come first.
Don’t Be Bashful
Using a forklift’s horn frequently isn’t rude. It’s actually necessary.
In a busy workplace, pedestrians and other employees aren’t always paying attention to what’s going on around them. Sounding the forklift horn when near other workers give them a signal they can’t easily ignore.
If a forklift is in disrepair, it needs to be taken out of service until the problem can be corrected. But if other drivers aren’t aware of the issue, they might accidentally use the vehicle putting themselves and others at risk.
Use lockout and tag out devices to keep others from using a broken forklift. It’s helpful to keep a supply or lockout/tag out devices on hand and to educate drivers on how to use them.