The importance of maintaining any type of equipment and using it in the correct manner cannot be underestimated. This is especially the case when it comes to large machinery such as forklifts. Running a forklift is dangerous, and accidents are possible if you do not make an effort to operate the machine in a safe manner. If you are undoing a big project at home and you need to hire a forklift, safety is everything.
Seven Forklift Safety Tips
Here are some tips to remember:
1 – Forklift safety training
There is only one place to begin, and this is with the fact that you should never operate a forklift unless you have received the correct forklift safety training and certification. You are putting yourself and everyone else at risk if you attempt to operate such a machine without proper training. If you need a forklift for your project, either hire a professional or get a company like Roof Doctors for any renovations that need to be done at a height, i.e. a roof replacement or repair.
2 – Tighten your forklift load
You need to make sure you wrap all objects tightly together prior to lifting any load. This will ensure items and boxes do not fall off the forklift. It is much easier to control a condensed, single load, rather than numerous boxes falling in varied directions.
3 – Inspect your forklift regularly
You also need to make sure that you inspect your forklift on a regular basis. Inspect the lift from top to bottom so that you can act on anything unusual. This includes smoke, smells, strange noises, fluids on the floor, broken or loose hoses, and broken or loose wires.
4 – Safe and smooth operation
Safe and smooth operation is the name of the game. There are a number of ways you can guarantee this. This includes being alert and attentive, ensuring you are always in full control of the vehicle, never operating with greasy or wet shoes or hands, and never allowing unauthorized people to drive. You also need to stick with the appropriate dress code, which includes tight clothing that cannot be caught in the controls or gears and mandatory safety gear, i.e. hard hats, sturdy footgear, and a Hi-Vis jacket.
5 – Set your e-brake
If you do not set your emergency brake whenever you stop, you could end up with a rolling forklift. This could mean thousands and thousands of pounds’ worth of damage, and even worse, someone could get injured.
6 – Watch out for overhangs
When operating a forklift safely, you should always have anything overhanging on your mind, and doorframes too. A forklift not only has its own height, but the height of the lift and the boxes to contend with too. This could easily get caught in a doorframe. You could then end up being flipped over backward if the item is heavier and stronger than your forklift is.
7 – Drive backward if you cannot see
Another tip is to drive back if you cannot see where you are going and the load is too high. It may be tempting to simply raise the load above your eye’s vision. However, if you do this, you risk losing items, and even worse, the forklift being tilted over. The right thing to do is go in reverse with a low load.