Forklifts have made moving heavy material more efficient, but they can also expose the operator and those around them to a significant safety risk.
Below are some simple tips to avoid common hazards when using a forklift:
- Always perform a pre-operation inspection.
- A forklift should only be operated by a trained, competent person.
- Never let someone operate a forklift who is not qualified to drive.
- Always wear a seatbelt while operating and use 3 points of contact when entering and exiting.
- Never attempt to pick up more than the rated capacity of the machine.
- When picking up a load try to place the forks so the load is square, and make sure the material that you are carrying is secure and won’t fall off during travel.
- When carrying a load, always face the destination of travel and keep a sharp lookout for low overhead obstructions.
- Travel with the load lowered and move slowly, signaling with the horn when unable to see around corners or if path is obstructed.
- Know whether the forklift is battery-powered, uses propane or another fuel source and refuel according to the manufacturer’s manual guidelines.
- When traveling backward always use a signal person to assist.
- Do not carry a passenger on the forklift.
- Be careful around loading docks to not go near an open ledge.