A forklift is a powered industrial truck used to lift and move materials over short distances. The forklift driver has a range of responsibilities, such as loading and unloading materials, moving around materials in a storage facility, checking if the packaged material is secure, performing checks and maintenance of the vehicle, following instructions, and keeping records of work.
Forklift safety is paramount as it keeps the workers and other employees in that vicinity safe. You might go for forklift hire or buy them, but it is important to follow procedures while operating forklifts to reduce the possibility of accidents. The safety of the forklift operator and the other workers in a warehouse is equally essential just like setting refrigerator pressures.
To further improve forklift safety, here are five tips:
As we all say, practice makes perfect. To Improve forklift safety skills, the operator should often drive to get that much-required practice and improve their skills. Drivers can also opt for a forklift training course, including classroom lectures and discussion, videos, and real-life practical instructions. It focuses on providing you with a certification that qualifies you to safely operate a forklift in a workplace. This certification will make you more confident and less anxious when it comes to operating forklifts.
- Wearing proper clothes
Dressing appropriately for forklift driving is a must. Dressing in loose clothes is a no because it might get stuck in the vehicle. Instead, opt for fitted garments, which are not uncomfortable as you might work long hours.
Wearing long trousers will also give you extra protection. Other protective gear like snug gloves will protect your hand from being greased. Hard hats, safety goggles, high visibility clothes, covered shoes/boots are great options for forklift drivers.
- Making sure the load is secure.
If you’re loading goods on your forklift, you need to ensure that your load is balanced and secure. It should be equally positioned and should be bound with ropes if there is the chance of it falling off of the forklift.
Some tips on loading your vehicle: Do not exceed the recommended load limit. This increases the chances of the goods falling off and injuring others. If you’ve overloaded the truck, do not add extra weight to counterbalance it. If your load is unbalanced, for example, one weighs 1000 kg, and the other weighs only 700kg, keep the heavier one closer to the front wheel.
- Operating well-maintained forklifts
Regular maintenance checks are essential for both the machine and for the safety of the people. It’s imperative to keep the machine running properly as a neglected machine will be prone to frequent breakdowns and have a higher maintenance cost.
You need to check your forklift regularly for leaky hoses, faltering brakes, tire pressure, and seat belt function. Forklift manufacturers will also provide guidelines for in-depth inspections periodically.
For example, your manufacturer might tell you to get your oil changed every two months. You can also create a schedule in your daily routine to check up on your forklift. This way, if there’s any problem with the machine, it can be taken care of quickly before it harms the operator or the other employees working in the warehouse.
- Warehouse procedures, making it safer.
The warehouse for forklift operators should be clean and organized. It should not have any irrational obstruction in its lanes, as it confuses the drivers. The aisles and lanes should be wide enough for the forklift to pass through.
The area of work should be well lit and ventilated. The warehouse could even install mirrors at regular Intervals to enhance visibility for the drivers. The hazardous zones in the warehouse should also be marked clearly so that people stay away from them and flood checks are also important. Providing proper training to the employees should be mandatory.
So, these are a few tips on how to improve forklift safety. We can see that forklift safety doesn’t only include the machine but also the operator’s clothing, the types of load the forklift is carrying, and the maintenance of the warehouse. These safety tips are basic but essential for any forklift driver to learn and incorporate.