Operating a forklift is a job that should never be taken lightly. There are approximately 34,900 serious forklift injuries per year and 61,800 non-serious injuries annually. The good news is that many of these accidents can be prevented by following a few forklift safety pointers.
Continue reading to learn how to safely operate a forklift:
- Get a certification: Because the classes teach proper operating methods, obtaining a forklift certification is the best way to prevent workplace accidents. Additionally, each employee should take a refresher course every few years to ensure they know all proper safety procedures.
- Wear proper clothing: Hard hats, safety boots, long pants and a high-visibility jacket are just a few of the clothing items each forklift operator should be wearing. Wearing these safety items can greatly reduce the risk of an injury.
- Perform daily inspections: Every forklift should undergo a thorough inspection before each shift. A few things to check include the operating controls, fluid levels, leaks and any signs of damage. When the forklift is in perfect condition, there’s a much lower risk of accidents and injuries.
- Maintain 360-degree visibility: Forklift operators need to see where they’re going at all times to avoid causing accidents. Ensure the driver has a good view of the load but that the load does not restrict forward visibility. Additionally, drivers should be utilizing their rearview mirrors during operation.
- Avoid overhauling: Overturning forklifts accounts for 24 percent of all forklift accidents. You can avoid tipping the machinery over by keeping loads small. We recommend double-checking the unit’s weight restrictions before lifting any goods.
- Keep loads stable: Along with keeping the loads small, another forklift safety tip to avoid overturning the machine is to keep the loads stable during transportation. Travel with the forks tilted slightly backward and low to the ground.
- Drive at appropriate speeds: Speeding while driving the forklift may get the job done faster, but it’s a serious safety hazard. It’s especially important to maintain a slow speed while making turns. Going slowly—especially around turns—ensures goods make it to their destination safely and prevents the unit from flipping over.
- Never carry extra people: Walking all the way across a warehouse can take a while, but forklifts are not transportation devices for other workers who don’t want to walk. The only person on the forklift should be the driver.
- Avoid hazardous areas: There are undoubtedly hazardous areas in your warehouse or industrial facility. Try to steer clear of any dangerous areas or materials. If that’s not possible, be sure drivers are extra careful.
- Refuel and recharge: After parking the forklift, be sure to refuel and recharge the machinery. Keeping the unit fully charged and fueled can prevent injuries during the next shift.
Do you need to rent a forklift?
If you need to rent a forklift for your business, be sure to call our pros at Ram Rent-All, Inc. In addition to knowing all of these forklift safety tips, our team will ensure you get the perfect machine for your needs.