A forklift is a type of industrial truck used to move heavy loads from place to place.
Forklifts are also known as lift trucks, material handlers, stackers, pallet jacks, and reach stackers. They are usually powered by electric motors and hydraulic systems.
Forklifts are very useful machines. They are used to transport goods from one location to another. In order to operate a forklift safely, you should consider these helpful forklift driving tips.
1. Get A Forklift Certification
The first thing that you need to do when operating a forklift is get forklift certification. This will ensure that you know how to operate the machine properly.
You can find training courses online or in person at your local vocational school.
The next step would be to take an exam which will allow you to obtain a license and start getting paid! Once you have this license, it’s time to start working on your skills.
2. Know Your Hazards
When operating a forklift, there are certain hazards that you must avoid. For example, if you are moving materials with sharp edges, you should wear safety glasses.
If you are lifting objects that weigh more than 50 pounds, you should use a harness. Make sure that you are wearing proper footwear for the job.
3. Keep Up With Maintenance
When you are using a forklift, you should keep up with daily maintenance. It is important that you check the oil level regularly and a variety of other inspection items.
4. Be Aware Of Regulations
There are many regulations that apply to forklift operators. One of the most common ones is OSHA regulation. When you are operating a forklift, you need to follow all of its rules.
These include things like keeping the operator clear of hazardous areas, not allowing anyone else to ride on the vehicle, and making sure that everyone has been trained before they begin their shift.
5. Wear Proper Clothing
You should always wear protective clothing while operating a forklift. This includes gloves, eye protection, and boots. Wearing the right clothes will help protect you from injury.
Always dress appropriately when working with a forklift. Loose clothing can easily get caught in the machinery, so wear fitted, hi-viz clothes at all times.
You’ll also need closed footwear, a hard hat, and clean, dry, hands if you try to drive a forklift with greased hands.
If you slip and lose control of it, you could lose control of the vehicle and injure yourself or others.
6. Inspect The Forklift Daily
It’s important to inspect the equipment daily. This helps you identify any problems early on. If something isn’t working correctly, you can fix it before it causes damage to these expensive pieces of equipment.
7. Don’t Drive While Drowsy
Driving a forklift requires concentration. Driving while sleepy is dangerous because you won’t be able to react quickly enough if someone gets in front of you.
8. Maintain 360° Visibility
360° visibility means being aware of what’s going on around you at all times. This allows you to see potential dangers ahead of time.
9. Implement A Floor Marking System
Floor markings allow you to safely navigate your workplace without getting lost. They also prevent accidents by letting people know where they’re supposed to go.
10. Maintain Equipment Capacity
Forklifts have maximum capacities that you should never exceed. The capacity limit is determined by the weight of the load plus the height of the forks. You should never overload a forklift.
11. Pay Attention To The Forklift’s Stability
The stability of a forklift determines whether or not it will tip over. A stable forklift doesn’t tip over easily. An unstable one does. Make sure that you pay attention to the stability of the forklift you’re driving.
12. Ensure Loads Are Stable And Secure
Loads must be secure and stable for safe handling. If loads aren’t secured properly, they could fall off the truck and hurt someone.
13. Keep Drivers Clear Of Hazardous Areas
Keep drivers away from hazards like electrical wires, hot pipes, and other sharp objects.
14. Avoid Operating Near Flammables
Flammable materials like oil, gasoline, and propane can cause fires. Never operate near them.
15. Move At The Appropriate Speed
Moving too fast can lead to an accident. Always move slowly until you’ve reached your destination.
16. Use Proper Lighting
Proper lighting in the work area is essential for safety reasons. It allows for forklift operators to clearly see their surroundings as well as any hazards and obstacles around them.
17. Maintain A Safe Operating Distance
Operating a forklift within a safe distance prevents injury. When moving between two areas, keep a minimum of 3 feet between you and the next person.
18. Avoid Hazardous Areas Of The Equipment
When using a forklift, avoid hazardous areas like overhead power lines, high-voltage cables, and low-hanging tools.
19. Refuel And Recharge The Forklift
You’ll need to refuel and recharge the forklift every so often. Make sure that you do this regularly.
20. Park The Forklift At The End Of The Shift
Always park in the appropriate parking spots. The construction company should make sure that the parking areas don’t obstruct any exits or entrances, block pathways, or otherwise interfere with access to the building.
The forks of the forklift must be lowered until they’re level with the ground. Then, put the parking brake on, turn off the engine and remove the key from its ignition.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Main Causes Of Forklift Accidents?
There are many causes of forklift accidents. Some of the main ones include:
- Improperly maintained equipment
- Failure to follow operating procedures
- Poor workmanship
- Lack of training
- Faulty design
What Are the OSHA Regulations For Forklifts?
OSHA regulations state that all forklifts must meet certain requirements, including:
- All forklifts must be equipped with a hoist
- They must be inspected annually
- They must be tested once a year
- They must be serviced by qualified personnel
- They must have brakes
- They must be designed to withstand extreme conditions
- They must be equipped with a horn
- They must be able to carry up to 500 pounds
- They must be marked with warning labels
How Can I Improve My Forklift Safety?
Follow our above tips to ensure that you operate a forklift safely.
Operating a forklift safely is absolutely essential to avoid injury to yourself and others, and to prevent any damage to property or equipment.
By following these forklift safety tips, you can ensure that you drive a safe forklift while working.