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When we talk about forklift safety, we tend to focus on how you should operate the forklift while it is in motion. This is for good reason, since the forklift is an exceptionally dangerous vehicle while it is traveling, and there are many ways that an operator can seriously injure themselves, the lift truck, or those around them. At the same time, it is important to acknowledge the safety risks associated with an act as simple as mounting and dismounting the forklift. There are no shortage of injuries that can occur, including spraining an ankle, getting one’s clothing caught on the lift truck, and slipping on an object that has inadvertently been left on the warehouse floor. After all, it may come as a surprise to learn that one in three forklift-related injuries actually occur when an operator mounts or dismounts the forklift. Given that the best way to reduce the potential for such an injury to occur is to simply follow proper safety protocol, this post discusses how you can safely mount and dismount the lift truck.
The three points of contact
Anytime you mount or dismount your lift truck, it’s important to follow what is known as the three points of contact. As the name would suggest, the three points of contact refers to the need for the operator to make sure that their body makes contact with the lift truck using three limbs. This means that the operator should either make contact with one hand and two feet or two hands and one foot. In either case, the three points of contact ensure that the operator is stable enough to avoid falling.
There is a long array of safety considerations to pay attention to in order to prevent an injury from occurring. First of all, you want to always take the safest path in the warehouse, and it is helpful to designate an area of the warehouse for getting on and off the lift truck. In addition, the warehouse floor should always be free of debris and forks should be lowered to the floor whenever the vehicle is parked. When mounting the forklift, always face in the direction of the forklift. It is also necessary to look downward toward the ground before beginning to ascend the lift truck. When getting off the vehicle one should never jump, and wearing shoes with excellent traction can also prevent injury.
In general, it’s best to try and limit the frequency with which you have to get on and off the forklift. When you do need to mount and dismount, be sure to follow the advice given in this article in order to prevent an injury from taking place.