A forklift is an essential piece of equipment in any warehouse, distribution center or factory. Without it, it would be nearly impossible to efficiently move heavy objects in these environments. The strength and versatility of lift trucks certainly make life easier for the people who work in most industrial settings as long as there exists forklift safety.
However, the power that forklifts provide must be used with a great deal of responsibility. Operators need to be capable and well-trained in order to do their jobs effectively and efficiently. Most importantly, they also must know how to handle the equipment safely in order to prevent accidents.
More than 20,000 people are injured each year as a result of incidents involving forklifts. This underscores the importance of knowing how to use this essential equipment responsibly.
Any worker who is charged with operating a forklift must be aware of the protocols for proper use and safety. Additionally, supervisors and managers must emphasize and prioritize safety.
Formal forklift training and knowing how to operate a forklift safely are critically important for any worker who uses one. Operators must be aware of their surroundings, loads and behaviors. For example, they must never allow anyone to stand or ride on the blades of the lift. It’s also crucial that they always check underneath the forks before lowering their cargo.
Loads should always be carried as low as possible. This keeps the center of gravity closer to the floor and prevents tipping or wobbling, which can lead to an accident. Similarly, the blades should be angled so that the tips are higher than the back ends. This prevents heavier cargo from causing the vehicle to tip forward. Operators also should remember to drive forward when going up ramps and backwards when going down them.
Take a look at this infographic for vital safety tips to remember when operating a forklift. Share it with your team to remind them about their responsibilities when they’re behind the wheel of a lift truck.