Operating A Forklift, Keep It Safe


forklift-safety

The forklift, readily available for sale and rent from Forklift rental companies in Atlanta such as Accurate Forklift, is one of the most used industrial machines around worksites. This powered truck is used to lift and transport loads safely and efficiently. There is a risk involved in operating any industrial machine, especially when the operator lacks the necessary knowledge. It is essential to ensure crews are trained on proper forklift operation as inadequate training may result in fatal and costly accidents. By brushing up on forklift training, you and your team can rest easy knowing that forklift operators and those working around them are safe. We are going to look at important forklift safety tips to remember to promote safety around worksites.

Get Forklift Certification

Since many accidents are due to poor training, it is recommended that only those who have been trained and licensed in accordance with OSHA standards should be responsible for operating a forklift. Employers should evaluate their employees’ performance at least once every three years and supplement training with lectures, videos, software training, and demonstrations.

Wear Proper Clothing

Forklift operators should be dressed in the appropriate safety clothing, including safety shoes, hard-hats, and a high-visibility jacket. Make sure to tuck away loose clothing before entering the truck to prevent it from getting caught in the forklift’s moving parts.

Know the Forklift Class

OSHA recognizes many different forklift types and classifications. Since each type has its own structure, weight limit, traveling speed, turning radius, and usage, it’s important to know your equipment in order to follow the best safety practices. Our Forklift rental company in Atlanta can help you navigate such issues.

Inspect the Equipment Daily

Forklifts should be thoroughly inspected before every use. Daily checks with the shift supervisor are recommended to identify and log any problems or defects. Any equipment that requires repair should never be operated. Some of the recommended checks include:

  • Testing operating and safety features such as brakes, lights, horn, and steering wheel
  • Checking mast and overhead guard for damage
  • Examining tire and fluid levels (hydraulic, brake, engine, fuel, and coolant)
  • Checking for water, oil, or radiator leaks
  • Ensuring the forks are in good condition (e.g. straight, no cracks, no distortion)
  • Looking for potential hazards

When using a forklift, it is important to follow all worksite rules, signs, and regulations.

Maintain 360° Visibility

Keep forks low to the ground to provide clear forward visibility. If the load restricts your visibility, operate the equipment in reverse. Always make sure you have a good view of the rack when you are positioning the load. Additional best practices defined by OSHA are:

  • Always make eye contact with pedestrians and other workers
  • Always look in the direction of travel
  • Use rear-view mirrors to boost visibility
  • Use headlights if working at night, outdoors, or in areas where additional lighting is needed.

Implement a Floor Marking System

A floor marking system can help increase worker safety. Use yellow to mark physical hazards, such as areas prone to falling or stumbling, and red to delineate fire hazards, fire equipment, and emergency switches. Place way finders and signs throughout the site to keep pedestrians away from forklift paths, lead forklifts along safe routes, and improve the overall flow of traffic.

Maintain Equipment Capacity

Be aware of the capacity of your forklift and any attachments used. Avoid hauling weights that exceed the counterweight of the forklift. Overloading a forklift can cause the rear wheels to rise off the ground and the whole machine to fall over, causing injury to personnel and damage to the equipment and materials.

Never Carry Extra People

Do not allow other workers to ride on the equipment with the operator unless a second seat is fitted into the forklift. Do not use the forklift to lift people, as forklifts are designed to carry loads. If you need to lift a person, use only a secure work platform and cage attachment.

Wrapping It Up

Accurate Forklift works with different players to promote safety when using forklifts. We are a leading forklift rental company in Atlanta with an inventory that features all the popular makes and models across different capacities. Safety training helps protect operators and other workers from injury and even loss of life. When looking for the best forklift and attachments for your operations, you can trust Accurate Forklift to deliver whether you wish to buy or rent. We also have you covered when it comes to the best forklift service in Atlanta performed by seasoned mechanics. Call us today at 770-692-1455 or email us at [email protected].

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