10 Forklift Safety Tips to Avoid Injuries

July 9, 2021 11:14 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

A forklift is an integral piece of equipment for all sorts of businesses. Unfortunately, they’re also quite dangerous to operate and can cause severe injuries or property damage. The good news is that following these forklift safety tips can prevent many mishaps at your facility:

  • Get a certification: According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), proper training can reduce forklift injuries by 30 percent. Every employee operating a forklift should undergo training and be evaluated every three years to ensure they’re following the best practices for forklift operation.
  • Wear proper clothing: Wearing the right clothing in the event of an accident can be the difference between some minor scratches and life-threatening injuries. Proper safety gear includes a hard hat, work boots and a high-visibility jacket.
  • Know the forklift class: There are four different forklift types and classifications. Each class has its own usage, weight limit, turning radius and traveling speed. Be sure you know which type of equipment you’re operating to stay as safe as possible.
  • Perform daily inspections: Dedicate a team member or shift supervisor to inspect your equipment before each shift begins. Things to test include the operating controls, fires and fluid levels. Ensure there’s no visible damage, and never use a forklift that needs repairs.
  • Maintain 360-degree visibility: It goes without saying that a forklift driver who can’t see puts everyone in danger. Ensure your drivers have a full view of where they’re going while driving and have a view of the rack when positioning the load.
  • Implement a floormarking system: Another one of our easy forklift safety tips is to mark your warehouse floor. Using paint to indicate areas that have fire hazards, dangerous equipment and/or emergency switches helps keep your drivers out of harm’s way.
  • Never carry extra people: Unless your forklift has a second seat, there should never be more than one person on the equipment at a time. Forklifts are meant to carry loads—they’re not transportation vehicles for your employees.
  • Ensure loads are stable: Double-check that your load is stable before traveling anywhere with it. Always travel with the load tilted back, and keep the forks low to increase stability.
  • Move at the appropriate speed: Traveling too fast is always a hazard, especially when carrying a load and making a turn. Making a turn while traveling too fast can cause the forklift to roll over, resulting in severe injuries.
  • Keep a safe operating distance: We know space can get tight in a warehouse, but be sure to maintain a safe operating distance from other equipment while driving your forklift. The further you stay from other machinery, the lower the chance of an accident.

Let us maintain your forklifts

In addition to your daily inspection, we recommend having your forklifts professionally serviced at least once a year. When it’s time for maintenance, come down to V-Bar Equipment Company. We’ll service your forklifts to keep them in tip-top condition, and we can even give you a few more forklift safety tips while you’re here.

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