Safety is paramount when operating a forklift, and while there are numerous health and safety regulations in place to ensure proper and secure use of machinery, there are plenty of ways you can make sure you’re safe around the workplace. Here are some important things to remember every time you use a forklift. You should check these every time you use a forklift, first starting with your personal equipment, before the forklift itself, the route, the load, and additional steps when completing your shift.
Firstly, you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing appropriate clothing. In most workplaces, this includes a high visibility jacket, a hard hat and safety shoes. It is also important to make sure that all clothing is well-fitted without any loose items such as ties.
2. The forklift
Before using the forklift for work, a routine check should take place upon starting up. The brakes, steering, controls, warning devices and tyres should all be tested to make sure they are in working order before attempting any job. The seat of the forklift should be adjusted to make sure the operator can access all of the controls easily, and the safety belt should be fastened.
3. The route
The planned pick-up and drop-off of items should be known before starting the job. This means taking into account not only the easiest and clearest route through the designated pathways for the forklift, but where is most convenient and safest for other workers involved. The route should first be checked for potential hazards such as any uneven flooring or objects in the way.
4. The load
The operator of the forklift should make sure the load is secure, after workers have taken care to make sure that the object has been packed properly. The loads must be evenly positioned across both forks, and the forks should be kept low while moving the object. Operators must not attempt to move any load if there are doubts about its security or stability.
5. Finishing up
After the job is done, the forklift should be parked in its designated area. The forks should be fully down and the park brake applied before the forklift is completely switched off. The forklift must also be completely switched off during refuelling. Once the forklift has been switched off, the keys must be removed and securely stored.