When you use any motor vehicle, it’s very important for the safety of both you as the driver and everyone else around you that caution should be used. This is the same in industrial settings where forklifts are used. Because work spaces may be more enclosed or even cramped and your proximity to people and other equipment may be quite close, forklift safety is a number one concern.
Powered Industrial Trucks Training
Knowing how to operate a forklift properly takes training. These motorized lifts may be smaller than most cars, but they still require knowledge and training to operate. The possibilities for injury are many for those who have not taken the time to learn. Although there is no federal law stating you must have a special drivers license to operate such a vehicle, only those over the age of 18 who have undergone required training and become certified may operate a forklift. Not only is this initial training important, but you should keep up your training and look for ways to help ensure safety for as long as you operate a powered industrial truck.
Forklift Operator Safety Standards
While you are learning, you should also learn about personal safety and the required equipment as well. Familiarize yourself with proper attire such as helmets, shoes, hand signals, and other such required items.
It’s crucial that all forklift operators are well-rested in addition to well-trained and properly dressed. If a forklift operator has inadequate sleep, the safety risks while operating material handling equipment are increased. Slow reaction times, diminished motor coordination, and lowered attention levels are all huge risk factors of fatigued forklift operators.
Know Your Work Environment Before Operating Forklifts
Once you know how to properly operate this equipment, you should familiarize yourself with the environment in which you work. Know what kinds of obstacles or distractions that you might face. Learn to anticipate people and other equipment around you and how they will react to you and your forklift. If your day involves moving a lot of the same material to the same places repeatedly, plan your route, know the turns, and warn other workers that you will be driving the forklift through the area. This will help to prevent a large number of injuries and damage to other equipment that come from a lack of knowledge. This also serves as an opportunity to get to know the individuals that have been working in a facility for longer than you have. Ask what you might face when operating a forklift in the facility. Their knowledge and wisdom can often prove to be very useful.
Forklift Inspections and Maintenance
Another area to consider is the overall maintenance of your lift. Although trained mechanics are needed to properly work on a lift, there are things that you can and should do to make sure your lift is in the best and safest condition possible. This includes daily inspections of forklifts that should be performed before you start work. They do not have to take long, but they do need to be thorough. Start at the top and work your way to the bottom of your lift. Look at all moving parts, as well as all the important light and indicator components as well. Make sure to check the forks themselves.
At the end of the day, safety is an area in which you have a great deal of control. Make sure to take appropriate steps, and you will find it much easier to prevent mishaps involving your forklift.