Editor’s Note: Today’s blog is a continuation of yesterday’s blog where Mikeala Della from Atlantic Training shows us the top 20 Forklift Safety Tips.
Here’s the last 10 Forklift Safety Tips
11. Keep Clear of the Mast
To start the list of forklift safety tips, let’s start with the obvious:
- Do not authorize anyone to stand or walk under the load or forklift machinery – The load can fall causing injury or death.
- Keep hands and feet clear of the cross members of the mast – Serious injury can be caused if the mast is lowered while your hand is on it.
12. Driving on Ramps
- When driving up ramps’ move in a forward direction and down ramps in reverse, especially while carrying loads.
- Do not load or unload goods or turn whilst on a ramp.
13. Ensure the forklift is not Over-loaded
- Do not use the tip of the forks as a lever to raise a heavy load.
- Do not push a load with the tip of the forks.
- Know the capacity of your forklift and any attachments being used and never exceed this capacity.
- An overload can cause the rear tires to be raised off the ground and may cause the forklift to tip over.
14. Ensure the Load is evenly distributed
- Do not lift or move a load unless both forks are fully under the load.
- Do not lift a load with one fork. Use pallets and skids that can withstand the weight of the load.
- Do not use damaged, deformed or decayed pallets for holding loads.
- A forklift should only be refueled at specially designated locations.
- Switch off the forklift.
- For IC engine forklifts, no open flame or sparks are permitted, and refueling should take place in a well-ventilated area.
16. When the Shift Ends
- After use ensure the forklift is parked in a designated or authorized area.
- Fully lower the forks to the floor and apply the park brake.
- Turn the forklift “off” and remove the key.
- Do not leave a forklift running whilst unattended.
17. Inspecting A Forklift
The next in the list of forklift safety tips is o make sure you are inspecting your forklifts. Prior to using a forklift, OSHA requires that every forklift undergo a pre-operation inspection. The pre-operation inspection involves a initial visual check with the key off, and then an operational check when the engine is running. Any defective forklifts should be taken out of service immediately, and a supervisor notified. (osha.gov)
Before starting your vehicle, conduct a pre-operation (or pre-start) inspection that checks a variety of items, including but not limited to :
- Fluid levels — oil, water, and hydraulic fluid.
- Leaks, cracks or any other visible defect including hydraulic hoses and mast chains. NOTE: Operators should not place their hands inside the mast. Use a stick or other device to check chain tension.
- Tire condition and pressure including cuts and gouges.
- Condition of the forks, including the top clip retaining pin and heel.
- Load backrest extension.
- Finger guards.
- Safety decals and nameplates. Ensure all warning decals and plates are in place and legible. Check that information on the nameplate matches the model and serial numbers and attachments.
- Operator manual on truck and legible.
- Operator compartment. Check for grease and debris.
- All safety devices are working properly including the seat belt. (osha.gov)
- Click here for forklift inspection, refueling, and recharging training
After completing the pre-operation inspection, operators should conduct an operational inspection with the engine running. This inspection includes:
- Accelerator linkage
- Inch control (if equipped)
- Drive control: forward and reverse
- Tilt control: forward and back
- Hoist and lowering control
- Attachment control
- Back-up alarm (if equipped)
- Hour meter (osha.gov)
18. Refueling A Forklift
The most widely used forklifts have an internal combustion engine powered by fuels that include gas, liquid petroleum, diesel fuel, and compressed natural gas. Forklifts with internal combustion engines can be quickly refueled but require regular maintenance checks for leaks of fuel or oil, worn parts requiring replacement, and to keep systems working properly. Newer forklifts with internal combustion engines have on-board sensors that monitor and adjust emissions and have catalytic converters that help reduce emissions. (osha.gov)
Follow correct refueling procedures:
- Park the forklift in the designated refueling area.
- Place the transmission in Neutral.
- Lower the forks to the ground.
- Engage the parking brake.
- Shut off the engine.
- Open the filler cap.
- Fill the tank slowly (if spillage occurs, wipe off fuel and wash down the area with water).
- Close the filler cap. (osha.gov)
For complete forklift refueling safety training, click here.
19. Stability and Loads
In order for forklifts to remain balanced and to prevent them from tipping over, there must be an established center of gravity. It’s important to understand why forklifts become unstable so that preventative measures can be taken. Our friends over at OSHA have broken down exactly how to measure center of gravity, as well as everything you need to know about load composition. For complete training on forklift loads and counter balance, click here.
Being vigilant of pedestrians during forklift operation is vitally important in helping to reduce risks and injuries. Employers and supervisors can do their part to maintain safety in the warehouse by:
- Separating the pedestrian and forklift traffic by creating designated walkways or travel ways.
- Restricting people from entering areas where the forklift is operating.
- Ensuring the area is well lit and the area is clear.
- Not loading the forklift in a way that restricts the driver’s viewing area. (jitny.com)
Pedestrians working in or near the warehouse where a forklift is in operation can help reduce injuries and accidents by:
- Keeping a safe distance from the forklift whenever possible.
- Always letting the driver know you are in the area. Attempt to make eye contact with the driver to ensure they have seen you.
- Being cautious near blind corners, doorways, and narrow aisles.
- Wearing high-visibility clothing.
- Not walking near or under raised forks. (jitny.com)
And lastly, forklift drivers can help reduce injuries, accidents and safety breaches by:
- Limiting forklift travel speed.
- Avoiding driving forklift near areas where pedestrian traffic is high (for example: lunch rooms, time clocks, entrances/exits).
- Sounding the forklift horn at intersections.
- Always expecting the unexpected. (jitny.com)
- Training all warehouse workers through an OSHA AtlantcTrainingt safety training program.
Bottom Line on These Forklift Safety Tips
Forklifts are considered heavy machinery and any and all heavy machinery can be dangerous even when operated with utmost caution. Be knowledgeable and stay vigilant when operating a forklift. Get a “feel” for the machine you’re operating and encourage others to maintain safe operations around the equipment as well. It’ll help your operation of the forklift and their ability to work around it be natural, seamless, and safe.