7 Forklift Hand Signals You Should Know

January 13, 2023 10:03 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

7 Forklift Hand Signals You Should Know

As you know, forklifts are powerful tools that can help you move materials quickly and safely. However, they can also be dangerous if you aren’t paying attention or don’t use proper safety protocols. To keep your employees safe, it’s important to learn the proper hand signals that operators and spotters can use. In this article, we’ll cover 7 of the most common Forklift Hand Signals you should know.

Raise The Tines

You can make your forklift operation safer and more productive by educating your staff on the universal Forklift Hand Signals. Whether your staff is a forklift operator or a spotter, learning these signals will ensure they know what to communicate with each other. Raise the tines is one of the most common forklift hand signals. To raise the tines, extend your right arm straight out, parallel to the ground. Then, point your forefinger in a small circle and rotate it slowly until the tines reach the proper height.

Lower The Tines

Often, forklifts will need to be adjusted to correctly pick up or place a load. This can be a dangerous situation because it can lead to improper positioning that can damage the load or cause the forklift to fall over. For this reason, it is important to learn the forklift hand signal for lowering the tines. It is easy to do and helps to improve forklift safety. To make the gesture, extend your right arm straight out from the shoulder and move it downwards. Repeat this motion until the forks are lowered as low as you need them to be. Then, lower the forks again to set the pallet down properly. It is also important to make sure that the pallet has full contact with the ground below it before you leave the forklift.

Move The Tines

The move the tines hand signal tells the operator to move the forklift’s tines to a new position. This is done so that the operator can pick up or place a load more effectively. To give the move the tines signal, you need to point your index finger up and draw a small circle in the air continuously. Then, you will need to extend your arms out from the body so that they are parallel to the ground.

Tilt The Mast Back

To use this signal, extend your arm out straight and point your finger in the direction you want the mast to tilt. Repeat this movement until the mast reaches the desired angle. You should always set the load down before tilting the mast back to improve stability. This ensures that all four corners of the load touch the floor simultaneously and evenly distributes the load weight. Alternatively, this can be used to adjust the forklift tines more to the left or right so that they are more aligned with the load. This is a good signal to use when loading materials that can easily slide off of the forklift. This also helps to reduce the risk of tipping over the forklift.

Tilt The Mast Forward

The mast forward tilting motion is a gesture that allows the operator to better balance and secure the load by shifting weight away from the front of the forks. The mast forward tilting motion can also be used when the load is too high or insufficient overhead clearance prevents the operator from observing it clearly. For example, if you notice another forklift operator is getting too close to your load or loading racks, give this signal. To give this hand signal, extend your right arm straight out with the palm toward the ground. Then jerk your thumb over your right shoulder and repeat the motion.

Dog Everything

The dog everything hand gesture is given to pause crane operation and let the operators know it’s time to stop moving until their hazard is cleared. For example, if the load is raining, it’s not fitting in the space planned, or someone is walking in the path of the forklift and obstructing the operator’s view. To perform this signal, clasp your hands in front of your body and hold them above your navel.

Emergency Stop

When an unexpected safety hazard appears but has not yet caused any damage, you must halt all operations immediately. To give this signal, cross your thumbs together and make fists. Afterward, point in the direction of evacuation and ask workers to leave the area.

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