10 Forklift Health And Safety Tips
Forklift trucks are seen in most warehouses and those who operate them will have had forklift training in the skills necessary to use them safely. Here are some of the rules you must follow when operating a forklift or working around them.
You should be aware of the common hazards you may come across when working with forklift trucks.
Unsupported or unsecured loads can be a hazard as they may fall, crushing nearby workers or drivers. Ensuring your load is properly stacked and secured can help minimise the risk of this happening and ensure you are operating safely.
You should also be careful not to overload a forklift. Imbalanced loads can cause them to tip over, which can be dangerous for the driver and those working nearby. You should never overload a forklift.
Ensure you do not travel at excessive speeds when operating a forklift, both loaded and unloaded, as you pose a threat to yourself and others around you. Remember that a forklift is a vehicle and piece of machinery, with the potential to cause serious harm if used improperly.
You should conduct regular inspections of your forklift truck using a checklist to ensure it is in fully working order before operating it. Test that the wheels, steering wheel, brakes and lights are all fully functional to ensure you catch potential accidents before they occur.
Just like any vehicle, you should check the tire tread and oil and water levels. Forklifts operate similarly to any regular vehicle so all standard checks must be done on a regular basis.
While driving a forklift truck, you should constantly be checking for obstructions and obstacles.
Even if you have just checked an area, you should stay vigilant as the scenery can change at any moment and present a hazard. Being aware of your surroundings is important for the safety of you and your colleagues.
If you do not work with but are around forklift trucks, you should do your best to stay out of any danger to make it safer for both you and forklift operators.
Ensure you do not put yourself in the direct path of a forklift. Wear the proper PPE, including helmets and hi-vis clothing to make sure you are visible and protected. Do not venture into any prohibited areas where forklifts may be operating. Refrain from climbing on top of the forklift, as well.
Drivers may not always be able to see you so you are safer if you steer clear of the trucks while they are in operation. If you need to cross the path of one, either wait for it to pass or notify the driver of your presence.
You should not attempt to operate a forklift truck if you do not have sufficient training. This can put you and others in danger and potentially damage expensive machinery that will be costly to repair.
It is an employer’s job to ensure all their operators are fully trained, however you should not agree to operate any machinery you aren’t qualified to use even if your employer asks.