Forklift Safety Guidelines
Every year large number of people become a victim by forklift accidents. The accidents are sometimes minor and sometimes major. To stop or at least minimize accidents a driver has to be careful while carrying moving or lifting Weight. Forklift need to be manoeuvrable for lifting and carrying weight. A smooth operation is essential to end the accidents. The machines can be unstable to handle under some circumstances when carrying large amount of weight.
Some facts that has been observed about accidents in the warehouses are:
Even at low speed the forklift can cause serious injuries and fatalities.
The victim is not only the driver. Pedestrians or other people working around can be a victim of this accident.
It is observed that people don’t plan the safety environment until an injury happens.
There can be many reasons of fatalities in working zone, but the most common that have been observed are:
Untrained driver: A person who has not yet got the forklift license.
Speed when working: This can cause not the accident of a driver, but also the pedestrians.
Inattentiveness: Just like the other common drivers a forklift driver need to be attentive while working. A minor mistake or carelessness can be whole life regret.
Loading: Generally every type of forklift is made for carrying specific amount of weight. Have you got the knowledge of the capacity of forklift you are driving? Generally this is one of the most common cause of fatalities.
Environment issues: Talking about Electric and LPG forklift perspective, everyone needs a different working zone to work. Environmental perspectives include the working area situation, capacity and cleanliness.
Choosing safe working environment and safest working machine can minimize the risks in carrying or loading weights.
After describing the reasons of accidents there is a need to tell how risks can be minimize?
Don`t panic of all above statements. If you are going to enter in the warehouse or working zone environment simply read these guidelines and save yourself and other`s lives.
Do you think that a person can drive a car or fly an aeroplane without the training? Then how can someone drive a forklift without training?
The forklift training course is not simply based on driving course, but it is also based on general forklift use with standard mast and further supervision and training.
Certain system needs to generate for communication between employees, manager, driver and all other relative staff. More communication means less fatalities. This is a good thing to communicate with experienced driver in your working environment. They will be helpful for you in sharing small tips.
Loading, Carrying and Moving weight:
When carrying load the forks should be 6-10 inches above the ground. You have to be sure that the loaded weight is under the listed capacity of forklift. More weight than the capacity can make your luggage fall or make you fall. Make sure to load low and tilted back. Tie the load with proper care and check if it is stable or not. Spread the forks as wide as required. Keep an eye on the load and be careful while moving. Do not carry anything on the overhead guard. Move with a moderate speed and never move so fast.
Just like the car drive seat belt can protect you in forklift drive. Before you start tie the seat belt perfectly. Drive into the loading position and take care of the material that it would not get damage by the forks. Keep the heavier load closer to you (this is the concept of torque that you may read somewhere in physics). Special cautions need to follow on wet surface. Never reach through the mast to fix the load. A spotter can be used for clear view if required.
Unloading the weight:
While unloading there is a need of responsible behaviour as well. Position the forklift in an appropriate way. Make sure that you are standing at the right point with appropriate space around you to unload the weight. After you have done all your work park the truck in an appropriate environment by keeping the forks down to ground.
When these tips would be followed properly by a forklift driver the risk of fatalities can be minimize. However the risk is always there at working zone so we cannot say that these tips can save 100% from fatalities, so be ware and careful at every moment.
Adeel is working as a marketing supervisor with Altus Forklift LLC from last one year. Writing is his passion, so he is sharing knowledge based on his working environment to serve people in a best possible way.