Forklift Safety Tips to Avoid Injuries
Capable of enhancing work productivity and speeding up processes, the forklift is one of the most widely used equipment on the job site for lifting and transporting loads with deft and precision. However, running any industrial machine carries a certain amount of risk. It is critical to obey all worksite rules, signs, and regulations while using a forklift, and crews should be trained in proper safety procedures. Here are some best practices to help keep an eye on the working environment to prevent forklift accidents.
Examine Forklift Before Use
Before operating, operators should conduct a regular inspection of the equipment, and forklifts should be examined thoroughly before each use. It is recommended to check in with the shift supervisor daily to recognise and log any issues or defects. The following are some of the suggested checks:
- Test operating controls (brakes, lights, horn, and steering wheel)
- Check mast and overhead guard for damages
- Check for water, oil, or radiator leak
- Check for potential hazards
- Check fluid and tire levels (hydraulic, brake, engine, fuel, and coolant)
- Ensure the forks are in good conditions (straight, no cracks, no distortion)
If there are any noted damages or problems, the management should be notified, and the forklift should not be operated if repairs are required.
Be Aware of the Surroundings
Always be aware of the surrounding equipment on the job site. It is critical to pay attention and obey all worksite rules and instructions while using a forklift. The forklift should only be driven in marked roadways, and it should never be operated close to other machinery unless required. When entering or exiting buildings, pay attention to all signs, particularly those indicating maximum permitted floor loadings and clearance heights, and be mindful of the distance of the load, mast, and overhead guard of the forklift. Remember to keep a safe distance to allow sufficient space, stop safely, and stay away from other machines that are moving unpredictably.
The HIT-NOT® Proximity Alert Sensor solves these issues by offering a cutting-edge collision avoidance solution. An alert system becomes unusable and inefficient when it issues too many alerts in the workplace or false alarms due to technological limitations. The forklift sensor addresses this problem by alerting everyone only when they are dangerously close to a moving vehicle. As a forklift safety pedestrian warning system, it provides an effective and efficient solution to the most common workplace accidents.
Ensure Loads are Stable & Secured
Always double-check loads for balance and damage before placing them on the loading dock. Ensure loads are stacked and positioned across both forks properly before driving with the load tilted backward while keeping the forks as low as possible to improve the equipment stability, particularly while navigating on ramps. If applicable, secure stacks and heavy loads with protecting measures such as ropes or bindings, and make sure any pallets or skids used are the right weight for the load.
Operate at a Safe Speed
Always stick to the designated speed limits when operating the forklift. Do not stop or change directions abruptly, and make sure to take any corners and turns slowly to reduce the chances of tipping. Should the forklift tip over, stay seated, and hold the steering wheel while bracing your feet.
Forklift operators must have a thorough understanding of the forklift driving environment, as any unseen bumps in the road will cause damage to the truck. Avoid rough ground conditions or loose objects that could result in a loss of control over the machinery. When approaching a corner, doorway, entrance, or people, use the horn to warn pedestrians or other forklift operators of the forklift’s location to prevent unwanted collisions. Always maintain a safe operating distance from other forklifts and ensure enough space to stop safely. For pedestrians, avoid standing or walking under a load, lifting mechanism, or forklift attachment, since loads can fall off and hit someone below. Keep hands and feet clear of the forklift mast, which can cause severe damage if it moves.
Maintain Clear Visibility
Maintaining good visibility is another critical responsibility for forklift operators. Keep forks low to provide good forward visibility. Ensure a clear view of the rack when positioning the load and operate the machine in reverse if the load limits the visibility. If visibility is low and the ability to see is impaired, pull over and ask for help from a lookout. A forklift management platform can help optimum real-time visibility of all equipment, operators, and inventory movement. It enables warehouse processes to operate more effectively and safely by combining this visibility with driver safety information and other reportable data.
Park Forklift at the End of the Day
Always park the equipment in the allocated and authorised areas at the end of the shift. The construction company must ensure that the parking areas do not hinder pathways or exits, or entrances. Apply the parking brake, switch off the engine, and remove the key from the ignition after lowering the forks until they are on the floor. When using a forklift, never leave it running unattended.
How to Improve Workplace Safety?
Enhance and make workplace safety simple with Stream Peak’s Forklift Safety products. Here at Stream Peak, we offer many safety devices that help to minimise risks of damages and injuries. Our HIT-NOT series provides vehicle operators with an audible and visual alert when they are near other forklifts. It also provides an exceptional truck-to-truck collision avoidance system, which helps to reduce one of the most common types of accidents in the workplace. Stream Peak’s Forklift Fleet Management System is another set of products that allows vehicle access control and operation monitoring. This impact and utilisation tracking device are designed to keep forklift-centric environments in mind in which, when integrated into forklift safety procedures, can reduce damages and injury costs. Our products ensure workplace safety and increase productivity. Get your Forklift Safety devices now!