Five Avoidable Forklift Mistakes

April 1, 2020 8:10 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Forklift safety practices in Texas are very necessary. If forklift operators don’t pay attention to the controls, their route, the load type and size or the people working around them, serious accidents can happen. The good news is that most forklift mistakes are avoidable.

First and foremost, it’s not safe to operate a forklift if you are exhausted or taking any medication that causes drowsiness. You need to be alert to avoid tipping over, dropping cargo or running into anyone or anything—no kind of distraction is safe.

Let’s take a look some of the most common forklift mistakes and how your operators can prevent them:

  • Not being aware of the load capacity: Even though forklifts are meant to pick up and move around sizable items, carrying a load that is too heavy can throw off the balance of your vehicle. Start your shift by locating the vehicle’s data plate to find your forklift’s load capacity. The plate should have all the information you need. If the plate appears altered in any way or is not legible, let your employer know right away.
  • Not knowing your way around: Forklifts are used in a variety of environments, such as warehouses, construction sites and home improvement stores. If you are navigating a forklift through a space with a complex layout design or a particularly busy environment, get familiar with obstacles in the layout that may throw obstacles in your path. Note narrow passages and any areas where people are working that could hinder your progress. When in doubt about your route, wait or identify a safer direction.
  • Neglecting to communicate with others: Typically, any environment where forklifts are used will be busy with other people trying to work on their own jobs. It’s for the sake of safety that forklift operators need to maintain clear communication. Let others know what you are doing and the warehouse route you intend to follow so they are aware of your movements. Also, don’t hesitate to ask your coworkers about their plans to move about.
  • Carrying an unsecured load: As you know, forklifts can carry all sorts of items, but some are more difficult to secure than others. For instance, cargo on flat pallets is rather easy to secure, while something with an odd shape can pose a greater challenge. Always take extra care when transporting items that are more susceptible to tipping or causing problems with your ability to maneuver.
  • Not watching your footing: You may be an attentive forklift operator, but not all injuries happen while you’re operating the vehicle. Interestingly enough, slips and trips upon entry or exit from the forklift are among the most common causes of workplace injury. Be vigilant when hoisting yourself into the elevated forklift cab, and make sure you are wearing proper footwear with clean treads before using the vehicle.

It’s important for all forklift operators to adhere to these and other basic forklift safety practices in Texas. Your safety and the safety of the people around you depend on it.

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