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Forklift safety is essential for the operation of a warehouse. And, as a result, forklift drivers are often reminded about certain safety issues. Some may appear obvious, but others provide a different method of looking at a problem and of taking an action that will prevent disaster.
Here are some tips that you may already be aware of or have just forgotten due to time on the job with no adverse events.
Forklifts And Drugs
Of course, this tip is fairly obvious and you probably don’t need anyone to remind you. Still, you know how dangerous it can be to operate a forklift when you’re totally alert and focused. Use of alcohol or drugs could blight your judgment and lead to accidents that could result in injuries and even death. Remember the drug doesn’t necessarily have be illegal and still adversely affect your judgment as you go through your daily routine of driving a lift. Legal drugs like antihistamines that one may take to battle a cold can cause drowsiness. You should even be careful when using muscle relaxants that affect your physical movements and thus impair your reflex time.
Warning Warehouse Compatriots
It’s possible that accidents can occur, but no one is at fault. Employees concentrating on their jobs may not be aware of a forklift approaching or a forklift operator who is concentrating on safely navigating their route may not be aware of an approaching pedestrian. That’s why designating warehouse areas that forklifts are commonly working in are essential to preventing accidents, injuries and deaths. A simple sign like “Forklift Crossing” placed in an aisle can remind pedestrians who are working in the area to be conscious of forklifts that are traversing the same space.
Loose products falling off forklift blades can be a major reason for accidents. As the driver of a forklift, forklift operators should be sure to angle the blades so that they tilt up in front while the back is tilted lower. This can help to secure products during transport. The configuration assures that gravity will hold the items more toward the back of the blades and prevents pallets from sliding off the front. The configuration of the forks also assures that items that slip off a pallet will slide back and not forward, which is an accident waiting to happen.
Be careful not to tilt the forks too high or the items being carried could crash back on the forklift or cause the forklift to tip over.
If you Can’t See Forward, Then Drive Backwards
If the load is piled on the forks so high that you can’t see in front of the forklift, don’t raise the load up above your line of vision. Instead, drive the forklift in reverse and keep the load low. Also keep an eye to the sides and front to avoid hitting anything with the pallet being carried or the blades.
Watch For Overhangs
Never forget about the upper door frames or other overhanging items that you will encounter on your route. Remember that the forklift has height, the boxes carried in the fork has its height, all of which could be too high and can strike or catch on an upper door frame or other overhanging item causing the forklift to flip over backwards.
Prevent Others From Climbing On The Forklift
Never raise a person using the forks of the forklift. The implement wasn’t designed to carry a person. So the activity could cause an accident resulting in the death of a co-worker.
Make Certain That No One Is Under Your Load Before You Lower It
It is essential that you check to see if any co-workers are under the load you’re carrying before you lower the forks. A major injury or a death could occur if you aren’t paying attention.
Operating the forklift slowly will give you enough time to react to an event that could cause a catastrophic accident.
Secure The Forklift Load
Before lifting a load, wrap all the items you’re carrying tightly together. This prevents the items from falling off the lift. A load combined with straps or plastic wrap is easier to control than separate items that can each fall off into different directions.