As a plant and machinery operator, you must know how to safely operate a forklift. This is one of the most critical pieces of machinery you will be operating in this industry, and you have to be aware of all the necessary safety aspects. It’s the only standard approach that will be essential in minimizing some of the workplace injuries that have increased in recent times. Here are some essential tips how to operate a forklift.
1. Know the Forklift Class
The first thing you need to be aware of is that there are different types of forklifts, and they are classified according to their intended use. There are three broad categories: electric motor hand trucks, internal combustion engine trucks, and electric motor rider trucks. Each type of truck has its own set of safety requirements that must be adhered to. For example, an electric motor hand truck cannot be used on an incline.
2. Get Trained and Certified
You must receive the proper training before operating a forklift. Many employers will provide this training, but you can also take a certification course. Once you have been trained, make sure you are familiar with the forklift controls and how to use them properly. Remember, training and certification are not enough. You must also be able to demonstrate your proficiency in operating the forklift. This is the only way to provide optimum safety while operating this equipment.
3. Inspect the Forklift Daily
You should inspect the forklift every day before using it. This includes checking the brakes, steering, tires, hydraulics, and chains. Ensure that all safety devices are in working order and that there are no fluid leaks. If you notice any problems, report them to your supervisor immediately. You should avoid operating a forklift if it is not in good working condition, as this can put you and those around you at risk.
4. Wear the Proper Safety Gear
When operating a forklift, you need to wear the proper safety gear. This includes a hard hat, safety glasses, and gloves. You should also wear closed-toe shoes to avoid crushing your feet if something falls on them. In addition, you should be aware of your surroundings and ensure that there is no loose clothing or jewelry that can get caught in the machinery.
5. Follow the Proper Procedures
Specific procedures must be followed when operating a forklift. For example, you should always approach a load from the front and never try to lift something too heavy. In addition, you should keep your fingers and hands away from the chains and never stand under a load that is being lifted. These are just a few of the many safety procedures that you need to follow when operating a forklift.
Operating a forklift is a big responsibility, and you must take the necessary steps to do it safely. By following the tips above, you can help to create a safe work environment for yourself and those around you. Remember, workplace safety is everyone’s responsibility. Contact Ram Rent-All, Inc. for more information on forklift safety.