Forklifts are generally used for loads at specific weights. These trucks are important in any industrial workplaces because the operation depends on the forklifts to lift or transport loads around the factory.
Although forklifts are very dependable pieces of equipment, operating these trucks can still be a potential safety hazard, especially when the operator forgets crucial working procedures. When a forklift operator neglects to stick to these important procedures, it increases the possibility of forklift accidents, which could cause injuries.
While forklifts are specifically designed to perform heavy-duty tasks, these trucks could still be damaged after days or years of operation. Therefore, extensive check-ups (both visual and operational, should be performed by the forklift operators before each shift.
Visual inspection allows you to examine the general condition of your forklift truck. Always check if the forklift is clear of obstructions above your head. Then, examine if your fire extinguisher and battery are fully charged and secured. In addition, vent caps should not be clogged and forks should not bend or crack.
Examining the forklift's operation will ensure that the truck functions smoothly. To do this, check the horn if it is loud enough to be heard throughout your working environment. Examine if the dash control panel with its gauges and lights are working properly. Check if the floor brakes and pedals stops smoothly. In addition, examine the gearshift and clutch if it shifts without jerking. Lastly, make sure that the forklift does not give out strange sounds.
In operating the forklift, three important guidelines will benefit the safety of all forklift operators:
- When loading:
Make sure you determine the recommended load capacity of the forklift to ensure it never exceeds the limit. Always position the loads based on the suggested load center. Keep in mind that the forklift should be in a standing position before you insert the fork into the pallet.
- When traveling:
Make sure you keep your arms, hands, feet, legs and head inside the forklift. Be aware of possible oil spotting, wet floors, people passing and vehicles before your forklift. Ensure that you travel with the forks tilted back and as low as possible from the work area or floor.
- When raising your load:
Avoid raising or lowering the fork when the forklift truck is still moving. Ensure that you have sufficient overhead clearance when raising the load. Lastly, always make sure that no one is standing or walking near the elevated part of your forklift.
If you follow these simple guidelines, you can guarantee safety operations using your forklift every day. Make the inspection and safety guidelines a daily habit or part of your forklift operator training to ensure your business will run smoothly.