Forklifts are highly useful pieces of heavy machinery with applications for construction sites, warehouses and many other industrial facilities. However, there is an inherent risk of accidents such as tip-overs and collisions when you operate one. There is also a risk of struck-by accidents involving bystanders.
There are regulations in place to make forklift operations safer, such as age restrictions and training requirements. EHS Today identifies several forklift safety tips that you should observe at all times.
1. Park the forklift safely
Failure to park safely could result in unintended movement by the unattended forklift. When you have finished operating the forklift, you should set any controls to neutral, lower the forks and set the parking brake. You may also use wheel blocks to secure it when you park on an incline.
2. Know the weight capacity
You can confirm the weight capacity of the forklift by consulting the operating manual. The information may also be available on the machine itself. Keeping loads within the weight capacity helps prevent the forklift from tipping over.
3. Use safety equipment
Whenever you operate a forklift, be sure to wear your seatbelt. Before operating, you should put on high-visibility clothing, protective footwear and a hard hat. Your employer should provide this personal protective equipment.
4. Obey the speed limit
Always operate the forklift at a safe speed. Take turns and corners more slowly to avoid tipping over.
As you operate a forklift, stay aware of the people around you. This includes other forklift operators as well as pedestrians. Use the horn of the forklift to alert others to your presence.