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Forklifts are one of the most efficient ways to move palletized products and other materials quickly and conveniently. But they also are heavy-duty industrial vehicles that can move very quickly and weigh thousands of pounds.
The potential for danger with forklifts is high. So if you use forklifts in your warehouse, dock, factory or other business, safety needs to be a top priority.
Top 10 List for Forklift Safety
In an effort to promote forklift safety in anticipation of National Forklift Safety Day, which will be held on June 16th, here are 10 simple ways to reduce accidents and increase safety in your workplace:
10. Forklift operators must be trained on the safe operation of forklifts and other material handling vehicles. Plus, this training must be certified and permanent records must be kept on file.
9. Operators should inspect their vehicles at the beginning and end of every shift, including battery connections, masts, forks, tires, and other essential components. Any damage or wear needs to be reported immediately so that it can be corrected.
8. Fields of vision need to remain as clear as possible at all times. If loads are blocking the ability of the operator to see in front of the vehicle, a spotter should be used or the vehicle should be operated in reverse.
7. Forklifts are heavy. They are even heavier when hauling pallets and other loads. Take the total weight of the forklift and its payload into consideration before crossing bridges, trestles, and other weight-restricted structures.
6. Speed kills. Operating a forklift at a high rate of speed is almost never a good idea, even when you are in a hurry to finish a job quickly. Slow down, do the job safely, and avoid injuries and accidents.
5. Use the horn. Unlike automobiles, nobody is going to think you are a “jerk” if you frequently honk your horn to inform pedestrians and other vehicles of your presence.
4. Crushing injuries during tip overs are the most common cause of injuries and fatalities among forklift operators. If your vehicle starts to fall over, stay in your cabin. It’s designed to protect the operator in the event of a tip over accident.
3. Loads can topple, tilt, and fall if they aren’t properly secured. Before lifting and transporting any load, make sure it is stable and secure.
2. Don’t give rides to other workers, either on the forks or in the cabin of your forklift. Lift trucks aren’t designed to accommodate passengers and you could be putting the health of your co-workers in danger.
- Watch out for the mast. When raising or lowering the mast, make certain there aren’t any people or objects above or below it. Masts are heavy and move quickly, so they can easily cause injury to people or damage to property.