Basic Safety Tips for Operating a Forklift

23 October 2018
 Categories: , Blog

Forklifts have a wide range of uses from the mechanical world, to mining, to construction, to road works and even to warehousing. Learning how to operate a forklift will give you a long and stable career. There are many trade schools that give training on how to run a forklift. It is important to understand that being a great operator goes beyond merely learning how to deal with the mechanical parts—you must also learn all the safety rules. Here are the basic safety rules relevant to operating a forklift machine that you need to know.

Dressing properly

When people are new to forklift operations, they follow all the rules. However, with time, they start slacking, and this means that they forget the importance of always having the right clothing. Proper clothing includes hard-soled shoes, a hard hat or helmet, and visibility jackets. In addition to these items of clothing, it is also important to avoid any loose clothing that could get caught between pieces of equipment and compromise your safety.

Inspecting the equipment

Most people fall into the habit of merely hopping onto the forklift and starting their operations when they get to work. Unfortunately, sometimes this leads to massive accidents, primarily when the machinery is not maintained regularly. To prevent this from happening, you need to have a checklist of all the parts of the machinery that should be inspected before starting it off. Check the brakes, controls, warning signals, fluids, meter readings and all other elements before hopping onto the forklift. Also, always assess the size and weight of the load and the possible obstacles that could interfere with the lifting process before you start the forklift.

Maintaining balance

Another consideration that you need to make when operating your forklift is making sure that the forklift is correctly balanced throughout the operation process. Do not overload the forklift to finish your work fast. Always use the body of the forks to raise the load till when you are underneath the load. Ensure that you have safety and warning signs to stop people from walking under your area of operation to minimise the possibility of injuries in case a load falls off.

These are a few safety precautions that may not be stressed at the trade school where you learn to operate a forklift. However, this does not mean that they aren't necessary. It is crucial to ensure that you adhere to the safety rules at all times to avoid disasters, so take your forklift training seriously.