12 Forklift Safety Tips for Operators

Forklifts are used to handle, lift and relocate heavy parts of machines or other such things within the industrial estate. It is, however, not only a hard job to do but also somewhat dangerous. The operators of forklifts should therefore be well-trained in the job and also follow several safety rules to avoid any type of accidents or mishaps. Some simple forklift safety tips to ensure safety for the operators during the operation of forklifts are as follows.

Qualified Operators:

Forklifts are not as easy to handle as they seem. Slightest mistake can cause damage of expensive parts of machines. Further they can also lead to huge life threatening accidents for a person standing nearby as well as the operator. To avoid such mishaps from happening it is important that an industrial estate hires only a professional who is licensed to handle such machines.

Examine Forklift Before Use:

It is a must that the operator examines the forklift every day before it is used or driven. All parts of the machine including the lifting device, tyres, brakes, steering and warning devices should be checked thoroughly before it is used. If in case any damage is found, the forklift should not be used until repaired.

Safe Speed:

It is conducive to avoiding mishaps that the operators drive the forklift at safe speeds predetermined according to the industrial safety standards. Further, the operator should keep a check on the speed when taking turns at corners to avoid collision with the walls and cause damage to anything or anyone very seriously.

Be Alert and Careful:

The operator should keep an eye at any slippery floor or bumpers or other disturbances on the ground. This will help the operator to steer clear from these areas. Driving in such areas can cause the loss of balance of the weight being carried causing problems.

Stable and Secure Load:

When the loads are being loaded on the forks, all safety measures should be followed. Also it should be made sure that the loads are safely and securely tied to the forks and cannot get loose before the destination is reached.

Clear Visibility:

The operator should have clear visibility of the road on which the forklift will be steered. Often driving the forklift in reverse gives better visibility except when climbing a slope. It is also of utmost priority that the operator is able to see the place or rack very clearly, where the load is to be unloaded.

Forklift is for Lifting Loads:

A forklift should be used to lift loads only. It is not something to lift a person from the ground to a rack for a job to be done. If indeed the need shall arise to use a forklift to raise a person to another position, it should be done with either a modified forklift for lifting people.

Driving on Slopes:

While driving on a slope, the forklift operator should drive straight while going up. While on the other hand, when the forklift is driving down a slope it should drive in reverse. These are a must to be followed when the forklift is loaded.

Do not Overload:

Forklifts already lift heavy loads. However, there are standard measures of the amount of weight it should be carrying. Exceeding this standard limit can be dangerous. Overloading is strictly inadvisable.

Evenly Distributed Loads:

It is a part of the safety measures that the loads to be carried on a forklift are evenly distributed. Balance is very important while operating a forklift. Slightest of imbalance can cause accidents. Hence it is to be thoroughly checked that the loads are evenly distributed on both sides before driving it.

Appropriate Clothing:

An operator of the forklift should be appropriately dressed according to safety standards. The clothes should not be too loose so that it does not get stuck in any machines. It is advisable that the operator wears a high visibility jacket so that it is seen from a distance.

Follow all Safety Rules: 

All safety rules while driving a forklift should be observed. The forklift should only drive on the roads designated for driving it. The operator should keep a safe distance from trucks to avoid collisions. Also, keeping a safe distance helps the operator to apply brakes if needed in a safe manner.