A forklift is extremely useful for moving heavy objects from one location to another. Can you imagine the beating your back would take if you had to manually carry heavy loads every single day? Forklifts have saved many workers from back pain. But serious accidents can occur from incorrect forklift use. Here are eight forklift safety tips to keep your work environment safe.
1. Provide General Employee Training
Schedule mandatory forklift training for employees who work near the forklift. Even if an employee isn’t required to operate the forklift, it helps to at least make sure they know how to use it. And when you hire a new employee, train them to use the forklift as well. It also helps if employees understand the seriousness of forklift accidents. This will make them more vigilant when they’re in the vicinity of the forklift.
2. Provide Monthly Training for Forklift Drivers
The majority of forklift accidents occur because of driver negligence. Perhaps the driver wasn’t well-trained and failed to realize they were doing something wrong. Or perhaps the driver simply had an error in judgment. In either case, a well-trained forklift driver is less likely to cause accidents. You’ll also notice that a well-trained driver is more efficient. That’s why it’s worth your time to offer monthly training so forklift drivers can perform their best.
3. Maintain Proper Tire Pressure
Underinflated forklift tires can cause accidents such as bad turns and load shifts. The forklift manual should provide the correct tire pressure to maintain. It’s usually sufficient to maintain a tire pressure that’s exactly the same or slightly below the pressure recommended in the manual.
3. Check Forklift Safety Features
All forklifts have important safety features that you should maintain. Backup signals, horns, and turn signals all play an important role in forklift safety. It’s not a bad idea to have the forklift operator perform a daily safety feature check.
4. Perform Monthly Inspections
Monthly inspections can help you spot potential problems. For example, are the forklift’s fluids at a safe level? Are there any strange sounds when the forklift is in operation? Monthly inspections can help you catch small problems before they become major hazards.
5. Watch for Leaks
Any forklift leak is cause for concern. You might see a slight leak and think it’s no big deal. But the leak that’s no big deal today can become a huge deal tomorrow. Find the source of the leak and make repairs as soon as possible. Leaks never repair themselves. They only get worse with time. And remember, even a small leak can indicate that a serious problem is developing.
6. Keep the Forks Straight
The forks are the workhorses of a forklift. The forks stabilize the loads and transport heavy cargo practically every day. But forks can get bent or broken. And damaged forks are a safety hazard. Make sure the forks are in perfect working condition. If there’s any damage, replace the forks or repair them.
7. Become Familiar with the Forklift Manual
Every forklift comes with an operation manual. The manual contains important information about the forklift, including suggested maintenance. Becoming familiar with the forklift will make it easier to recognize when problems are possibly developing.
8. Only Use the Forklift for its Intended Purpose
The purpose of a forklift is to carry heavy items from one location to the next. It’s not a method of transportation for employees who don’t feel like walking. And a forklift isn’t a toy to play around with. For everyone’s safety, always use a forklift only for its intended purpose.
Keep Your Warehouse or Place of Employment Safe
Accidents can occur even in the safest environments. But the more careful you are, the less likely an accident is to occur. Putting these forklift safety tips to use will make your workplace safer for everyone.
Contact QLD ForkLift NorthCoastForkTrucks when you’re in need of a new forklift or forklift repair. We have a large selection of used and new equipment to fit various workplace needs. And if we don’t have what you need on hand, we can find the correct machine that fits your needs.