Forklifts are operational vehicles offer an incredibly important duty in a multitude of environments. Can you imagine how difficult it would be to increase productivity in a warehouse without forklifts? Yes, the tasks at hand would prove very difficult and that is why forklifts are equipment that should never be taken for granted. However, no matter how reliable a forklift when it is improperly handled it can cause a great deal of problems. In fact, a poorly operated forklift can present an enormous danger to both those near the forklift or the operation of it. That is why understanding basic forklift safety is of paramount importance.
Probably the most important first step to take is to enact a forklift inspection policy. At least once a year, a comprehensive examination of the forklift should be enacted. This way, mechanical problems can be diagnosed and fixed. A cursory inspection should be performed at least two other times during the year as a spot checking measure. This will not only keep unsafe forklifts out of the work area, it will extend the life of the device since mechanical flaws will be caught and fixed.
It is also of critical importance to ensure that forklift operators are properly certified and trained. If the operator is a new hire and presents you with documentation asserted such information, make reference calls to ensure the information is legitimate. If you are training your employees in-house, do not cut any corners. Be sure the training program is as comprehensive as possible. The better trained your employees are, the safer they will be in the workplace.
Of course, simple and basic common sense can go a long way towards enhancing forklift safety. Some of the basic safety steps to follow include:
Always know the maximum load capacity of the forklift is. If the forklift is lifting a load that is far too heavy than what it can truly handle, it will present a risk of collapsing. Clearly, this would be a very dangerous situation.
Safely placing the load on the forklift is also important. It is necessary to avoid placing a load in a disorganized or unsecured manner on the forklift. This presents a very obvious hazard and is a practice certainly best avoided. Additionally, if the shape of the load does not necessarily compliment the design of the forklift, additional steps may need to be taken in order to ensure the load does not become loose or present a hazard.
When operating the forklift, the area in which the forklift will be traveling needs to be completely clear. If there are obstructions in the path of the forklift, a risk of an accident increases significantly. Therefore, it is necessary to perform a cursory examination of the area prior to traveling the forklift along a specific path.
Purchasing supplementary training information can be a significant help as well. DVD’s that provide clear information on the subject of forklift safety can provide a comprehensive overview on all that is necessary to ensure your forklift operation does not come with unnecessary risks.
For an excellent training resource for your operators, check out this forklift driver safety video.
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