A commonly used lifting machinery at warehouses, construction sites, plants and industries are forklifts. There are different kinds of forklifts available like rough terrain forklifts with track mounted bases, telescopic and industrial ones with large capacity.
They can be dangerous if not handled carefully. To keep accidents at bay, these 6 major safety tips will help you while working with forklifts at your workplace.
Proper Training and Certification
It is a legal requirement that all employees handling forklifts must be certified and licensed. So, make sure that the team is trained very well as they need to legally and safely handle a forklift for transportation of goods. It is an obligation to keep the working area safe, the workers and visitors also safe. Evaluation of their performance is important at regular intervals so that you can provide training if needed.
Protective Clothing is Necessary
All forklift operators must be given protective workwear and clothing. Provide the following clothing to the team and make sure that they wear them throughout the working time.
- A hard hat to protect the head from accidents while working at the site.
- High visibility jackets that help to spot operators and other people easily.
- Safety shoes to avoid accidents that would potentially disable operators.
Instruct the team to wear tight-fitting clothes as loose clothes like sleeves and trouser legs can get stuck in machinery and cause accidents.
Safety Inspection Before Usage
The shift supervisor must check all forklifts that will be used for the shift daily. Equipment and machinery must be thoroughly inspected. All defects, problems and issues must be identified and logged. They should be repaired before the forklifts are used. Some important checks that must be done are:
- Ensuring forklifts are free from any cracks or distortion
- Testing operating controls like brakes, steering, lights, horns
- Examining tires for correct tire pressure and cuts
- Checking fluid levels in brakes, coolant, hydraulic, engine
- Checking damages in overhead guard and mast
- Checking for correct water and oil levels
- Checking leaks in radiator or braking system
Stable and Secure Load
Unsecured loads have high chances of becoming unstable which is the primary cause of accidents. Never exceed the load weight more than what the forklift can carry or stack load too high. Some rules that must be followed are:
- Secure load properly with straps, bindings and ropes
- Use a skid or pallets to balance the load for uniform weight distribution
- Tilt the load slightly back towards the vehicle
- Keep the loaded forks low when the vehicle is moving
- There should not be any overhead obstacles
Following Ramp Movement Rules
Operators must follow all rules and working practices, especially when moving through a ramp and having a loaded forklift. The main rule here is that the forklift should always be behind the load. So, while going up the ramp, it should move in the forward direction. When going down the ramp, it should move in a backward direction in reverse gear. Some other tips that must be followed here are:
- No loading on a ramp, changing direction or taking a turn
- No travelling on the ramp that has more inclination than what is recommended by the manufacturer
- Never travel on the ramps that have no railings
- It is better to keep a safe distance from the ramp’s edge
- Keep an open eye in the direction of travel
Have Good Visibility
Make sure that the operator is always able to see the path clearly on which the forklift will move. This will reduce any chance of an accident that may happen due to invisibility. This is one of the key safety tips. Some things that help with this are:
- Keep the load low so that the operator can see the path ahead properly
- Operate the forklift in reverse if needed but not on ramps
- Get assistance from the team to guide you while moving load from one place to another
Follow these 6 major safety tips when you and your team are using forklifts. You can also put a list of all the rules and regulations at your workplace to ensure maximum safety. Good practice of safety measures adds to the development of your company’s reputation.
In a situation where you need to hire a forklift in Melbourne, connect with All Star Access Hire. They are a reputed company for providing quality checked forklifts at reasonable rates.