Do and don'ts of forklift operation?

Posted by Damian Roberti on

Do and don'ts of forklift operation?

Forklift Safety Tips

There are a lot of different things to think about when it comes to protecting everyone who works in your warehouse. The hectic and fast-paced environment of a warehouse can generate many potential for accidents to take place, with forklift accidents being one of the most common forms. In the next essay, we will analyze the various ways in which you can improve the safety of operating forklifts in your warehouse.

Advice on Working Safely with Forklifts and All Other Industrial Supplies

Accidents with forklifts can cause catastrophic injury to your staff members as well as damage to your place of business. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has devised a number of directives and standards that are intended to safeguard the welfare of workers. We have produced a list of suggestions to assist you in developing a safe working environment and lowering the likelihood of forklift accidents.

1. The Test to Obtain Your Forklift Certification

Certification exams for forklifts are mandated by law and administered by OSHA. You can increase your employees' industry expertise and ensure compliance with local and federal rules if you mandate that they obtain training and a license before they are allowed to operate a forklift. In addition, obtaining further certificates can lead to further professional growth, and qualified workers are eligible for better salaries than those who do not have credentials. Courses leading to certification that are compliant with OSHA regulations and can be finished online are made available by organizations like the National Forklift Foundation. It is essential to keep in mind that these credentials need to be updated every few years in order to remain current with the most recent safety policies and practices. Do and don'ts of forklift operation?

2. Establish a Required Attire

Adopting a dress code is one of the simplest methods to lessen the likelihood of an accident with a forklift occurring. Your company's policy on the suitable work attire for employees should specify what kinds of clothing are allowed and what kinds are not. It is possible for the dress code to change based on the position that an individual is hired for. It is essential to be aware that in some regions, there may be rules or regulations that mandate the wearing of particular pieces of safety gear while working in a warehouse. Because of this, you have to always make an attempt to research any local, state, or international safety standards that may apply to the situation.



Do and don'ts of forklift operation?

When it comes to establishing a dress code for your machine operators, there are a few things that you need to take into consideration first. Make sure that the day-to-day requirements of the job as well as the environment in which they will be working are taken into consideration when making your decision. When you are developing the dress code for your forklift drivers, pay attention to the following points:

Think about the environments in which your employees operate and the tasks they perform on a regular basis.

When you provide your employees uniforms that feature your company logo, it will be much simpler to determine where they are working, which is especially helpful if you have more than one warehouse. Taking into account the specific requirements of one's profession can be an effective way to boost productivity in the workplace.
Safety: Making safety a top priority is an easy method to prevent incidents that are not necessary. It is a good idea to provide your staff with protective clothing so that they can avoid getting hurt while they are on the job. This may be in the shape of hard helmets, protective glasses, or even gloves, among other potential items.
It is essential to ensure that your forklift drivers are comfortable at all times while they are on the job. Their clothing for the warehouse should be baggy but not so baggy that it puts them in danger of getting trapped on neighboring machinery.
3. Acquaint yourself with the many kinds of forklifts

Do and don'ts of forklift operation?

There is a wide variety of forklifts, each of which is designed to do a certain task in a particular industry. There may be more than one kind of forklift at your place of business, and this is something that is determined by the materials that you operate with. Because the various classifications of forklifts can come with a variety of different safety features, it is imperative that you understand the distinctions between them. It's possible that something that's perfectly safe on one kind of forklift won't be on another. It is possible to reduce the likelihood of unneeded accidents by educating your personnel on the characteristics that make them unique from one another.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) identifies seven distinct types of forklifts. Below you will find a list that describes each one in detail as well as what it is that they do.

rideable vehicles powered by electric motors

Batteries provide the electricity for these forklifts, making them suitable for usage on smooth floors and in enclosed spaces the majority of the time.
Electric trucks designed for short aisles:
These forklifts aim to increase speed and efficiency while also being optimized for use in confined locations.
Electric motor hand trucks, also known as hand-rider trucks, are a type of forklift that must be driven manually and are typically less powerful than other models.
Automobiles powered by internal combustion engines and equipped with cushion tires: These forklifts have been built to be lower to the ground and to be able to navigate through areas that have a low clearance in order to facilitate their use in delivering pallets of products.
Forklifts that have engines that run on internal combustion and pneumatic tires are versatile enough to be utilized both indoors and outdoors and are able to lift significantly greater weight.
Electric and combustion engine engine tractors: These forklifts, in comparison to their contemporaries, offer a greater degree of versatility as a result of their compatibility with two distinct kinds of engines.
Rough terrain forklift trucks are specially designed for usage in outdoor environments; they are able to travel over unforgiving landscapes while also being able to lift significant loads.



Do and don'ts of forklift operation?

4. Carry out inspections each and every day

Your forklifts must be inspected regularly, just like the majority of your other heavy machinery. Daily forklift inspections are mandatory according to OSHA regulations. A comprehensive inspection can lessen the likelihood of mechanical damage and safeguard your staff from injury at the same time. In order to ensure that any issues are discovered, these inspections need to be carried out by an employee who has the appropriate certification or by a supervisor. You might find it helpful to keep track of what has to be inspected by utilizing a daily checklist. You should keep a record of any maintenance that is performed on your forklifts as well as any problems that arise with them so that you may refer to it in the future.

Visual checks
Damage: Examine the chassis of the forklift to determine whether any of its components are cracked or twisted.
Leaks: Conduct a thorough inspection of your forklift to search for any evidence of fuel, oil, or hydraulic fluid leaking.
Check the condition of your tires, as well as your wheels and casters, to ensure that they are in proper operating order.
Forks: Check the stability and condition of the forks on your forklift and make sure they are securely fastened.
Chains, cables, and hoses are the following: Check that all of the hoses, chains, and cables are in good working order.
Examine any guards, gates, or side railings to ensure that they are in working order and that they are well maintained.
As a precautionary measure, check the functionality of all of the seatbelts, fire extinguishers, and warning labels.



Do and don'ts of forklift operation?

Verifications of operations
First things first: make sure that your forklift starts up correctly and that all of the indication lights and alarms work as they should.
Check to see that the pedals, steering wheel, and any other controls are all in working order.
Functions of electrical safety devices: Make sure that your lights, horn, and any other signaling devices are in good working order and that they are able to warn neighboring workers.
Turn the steering wheel to ensure that it is functioning properly in the steering system.
Carry out a thorough inspection of the brakes on your forklift and make certain that they are operational at both low and high speeds. In addition to that, make sure you check that the parking brake on your vehicle is in working order.
Controls for the hydraulic system should be checked to ensure that the forklift runs smoothly and does not emit any unusual noises.
In the event that your forklift has any attachments, check to see that they are in good working order.
Be sure to check the charge level of the battery that powers your forklift.
5. Clearly label your warehouse or storage facility. Do and don'ts of forklift operation?

During the process of setting up your warehouse, installing labeling that is both clear and straightforward can assist eliminate misunderstanding and contribute to improved navigation. As a consequence of this, there is a decreased possibility of workers wandering off-task or of a forklift moving to an area where it shouldn't be. Increasing your team's productivity by providing them with visual signals might be beneficial. You can label your warehouse in a variety of ways, including the following:

Markings on the floors of warehouses are typically created with paint, floor stripping tape, or paint, depending on the nature of the marking. These marks can be utilized to distinguish distinct regions, direct traffic, and even draw attention to potentially hazardous locations. You have options available to you that will enable you to clear driving paths for your forklifts.
Labeling the storage locations: If you mark your racks, shelves, and any other storage areas, your personnel will be able to more easily identify the products they are working with. Consider putting signs in the warehouse to inform staff of where they are and what kinds of preventative measures they need to take so that everyone stays safe. You are able to indicate the width of an aisle as well as the amount of clearance that your forklifts will have prior to entering.
6. Take into account your ability



Do and don'ts of forklift operation?

You have a responsibility to make sure that your employees are aware of the risks involved in attempting to move items by hand that are too heavy to be moved by a forklift. In particular, it is essential to make certain that you do not go over the counterweight that is specified for your forklift at any time. It's possible that doing so will force the machine's back wheels to lift off the ground, which will eventually lead it to topple over.

If you overload a forklift with too much weight, you run the risk of causing irreparable damage to both the machine and the goods it transports. Even worse, it may result in an employee becoming hurt as a result of it. Take the necessary steps to determine the utmost weight that can be lifted by each type of forklift that your company owns, and remind your staff of the risks involved in trying to move more than the forklifts are designed to handle. Keep in mind that any accessories you could utilize with your forklift could have their own weight capacity, which is something you need to take into consideration.

7. Loads That Are Safe

Forklift operators and spectators alike are put in harm's way when a load is not properly secured. Moving with a load that is not properly secured can result in significant property damage, even if you are only transporting the goods a short distance. There is a high probability of an accident happening at a location that has a lot of foot traffic, such as a busy warehouse. Because of this, you and your personnel should always make sure that loads are secure before beginning the process of transporting them. If you want to reduce the number of incidents using forklifts and accidents caused by loads at your place of employment, consider the following advice:

Use adequate equipment.
Make sure that any attachments are properly fastened to the forklift.
Try to avoid taking up loads that have been damaged.
Check to see that the load is centered.
Make sure you don't go above the limit.
Approach the loading with caution.
While moving with the mast slanted back, the weight will be more stable.
While you are moving, be sure there is ample clearance above you.
8. Please Drive With Caution

Do and don'ts of forklift operation?

In the end, encouraging safe driving is the simplest and most effective strategy to enhance forklift safety. The act of securing loads, carrying out inspections, and clearly marking your workplace can all contribute to the creation of a safer atmosphere; nevertheless, even with these measures in place, there is still the possibility of accidents taking place. When it comes to the safety of your workforce, making an investment in a forklift driver training program and taking steps to optimize your workplace for forklift navigation can go a long way toward mitigating risks. In the following, we have provided various illustrations of what it means to operate a forklift:

Proceed cautiously.
Make sure that loads are kept low to the ground.
Try to avoid making quick corners.
Avoid uneven areas.
It is best to start and stop slowly.
Maintain the load's safety and steadiness.
The Method Based on Three Points

It is highly suggested that all personnel adhere to something that is known as the "three point system" whether they are getting into or out of a forklift. This technique, which is also known as the three point dismount, can be utilized to safely disembark from a wide variety of large machineries and vehicles. According to the three point system, a worker is required to have three points of touch whenever they enter or exit a forklift. These three points of contact can consist of one hand, two feet, and one hand, or two hands and one foot. When this is done, employees have a better chance of being stable when they climb in. Do and don'ts of forklift operation?

9. Avoid Hazards

When it comes to forklift safety, the obligation does not solely fall on the forklift drivers, but also on the persons who are in the immediate vicinity of the vehicles. In the long term, it might be to everyone's advantage to put in the effort to educate all of the warehouse workers on the risks posed by forklifts. Your staff may assist establish a safe working environment by being aware of how to remain safe in the presence of a forklift, what hazards to look out for, and how to comply with safety standards. To raise the level of awareness on forklift safety in your workplace, be sure to educate your employees on the following topics:

Always maintain a distance that is safe from forklifts that are in operation.
It is best to avoid wandering near high forks or underneath them.
Take extra precautions when turning corners or walking through entrances.
As you pass the operator, you should make sure they can see you.
If there is a forklift in use, you must wait for it to move before proceeding past the number 10. Create a parking area specifically for forklifts.

The creation of a specific parking spot for your company's forklifts can help clear up uncertainty in the workplace and ensure that these machines are never misplaced. It is possible for something to become an obstruction and slow down your progress if you do not have a defined parking spot or if an employee parks a forklift in the incorrect location.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) suggests the following guidelines for personnel to follow when parking a forklift:

Only park your vehicle on solid, even ground.
Parking should never be done on an inclination.
Make sure that forklifts are parked in a safe distance from any stairways or firefighting equipment.
Always make sure the parking brake is engaged.
Forward tilt of the mast
Bring the forks down to the ground.

Do and don'ts of forklift operation?

Regardless of the nature of the workplace in which you are employed, protecting the well-being of your staff members should be your first concern. Because diverse work settings might each provide their own unique set of hazards, it is possible for each company to have specific safety considerations that need to be taken into account. You may lessen the likelihood of accidents at your workplace that are caused by forklifts and protect the well-being of both yourself and your colleagues by educating yourself on forklift safety.