How Can You Ensure Safe Forklift Operation?

If you own or operate forklift equipment, you know how important safe forklift operation is. So, how can you ensure safe forklift operation?  First and foremost, important general safety fundamentals should always be followed. Proper training, inspection, and operation are essential for forklift safety. The forklift capacity calculator gives vital maximum capacity information to also ensure safety.

Training

The first, and perhaps most important, way to make sure your forklift is operated in a safe manner is to train and certify all operators. Many companies offer OSHA-compliant certifications. Companies that utilize forklifts should also offer certifications for practical operational training, where driving and operational skills are demonstrated. Knowledge and training are essential to safe operation!

Forklift Inspections

OSHA requires a pre-operation inspection. Items that should be checked include fluid levels, tire pressure and condition, any leaks or cracks, condition of the forks, finger guards, engine and hose condition, and all other applicable mechanical aspects of the machine.  An operational inspection with the engine running is also required to check items such as the horn, audible and visual warning systems, steering, and brakes.

Operational Safety

Safety is the most critical issue when utilizing a forklift. Environmental and loading conditions must always be taken into account. There are many occasions when ramps are extended from trucks, and forklifts drive these ramps to load and unload cargo. These loading conditions require extreme care. Load height should be regulated so that the driver is able to maintain unobstructed views. Materials should be loaded in a balanced and secure manner that is not subject to sudden upheaval. The most common causes of fatalities in forklift accidents are the tipping over of, or being struck by, the forklift itself, and/or falling loads. The speed of the forklift should always be kept below the speed limit and well within its capacity.

Forklift Capacity

Every owner or operator should know the lifting capacity of their particular forklift. Forklifts must never be loaded in excess of that capacity. It is always best to err on the side of caution. Although the forklift capacity is noted on a data plate on the forklift itself, added attachments change that capacity. These attachments, as well as the forklift, should be certified, and the data plate kept current. Lift height also changes the center of gravity and the maximum capacity. One of the most innovative and useful tools to make sure your forklift is always operating under maximum capacity is the forklift capacity calculator. The forklift capacity calculator is designed to take the effects of attachments and wear into account. This is the first professional forklift capacity rating system available. It can be an invaluable tool and safety check, allowing fast and accurate rating of forklift capacity by the average operator, to make sure that maximum capacity is never exceeded.

Source: https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/pit/operations/servicing.html#PreOperation

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/docs/2001-109/default.html