There are thousands of forklift related accidents worldwide annually, but there does not have to be. Here are some simple tips to follow to ensure safe operation of forklifts. Although these tips are simple and quite basic they are a good starting point to support workplace health and safety guidelines.
1. Operators must be qualified - Operating forklifts should only be done by individuals who have been trained properly and contain a licence to operate the equipment.
2. Appropriate clothing must be worn - It needs to be ensured that operators wear the appropriate safety work wear; usually consisting of a hard hat, safety shoes and hi-visibility jackets.
3. Examine Equipment before use - Operators should do a routine check of the equipment before driving them. Some things you should check for any faults are brakes, steering, controls, warning devices, mast and tyres.
4. Consider the surrounding environment
- Whilst operating a forklift you must pay attention and follow any work site rules and guidelines.
- Be careful when operating a forklift near the edge of a loading dock or ramp
- the forklift can fall over the edge
- keep a safe distance from the edge.
5. Make sure you have clear visibility - Operate the forklift in reverse when it improves visibility; except when moving up ramps.
6. Ensure the Load is evenly distributed
- Do not lift or move a load unless both forks are fully under the load.
- Do not lift a load with one fork. Use pallets and skids that can withstand the weight of the load.
- Do not use damaged, deformed or decayed pallets for holding loads.