Forklift Safety Tips to Avoid Injuries

Forklifts can be a great benefit to your business. They enhance the safety of your work place by saving your employees from the dangers of carrying heavy cargo or hazardous materials. But a forklift is a dangerous thing if not used carefully. Here are some tips to ensure that your company uses forklifts as safely as possible.

 

Training and Certification - The duty of operating a forklift can’t be entrusted to just anyone. You need a trained employee with all necessary certifications, and preferably more than one. Ring Power offers an OSHA Forklift Certification class for individuals and groups as well as a Train-the-Trainer course which certifies one of your team members to teach the rest of your crew. Ring Power offers an OSHA Forklift Certification class for individuals and groups as well as a Train-the-Trainer course which certifies one of your team members to teach the rest of your crew. 

 

These employees' fitness for this task should be reassessed every two to three years, based on their performance. Don’t be afraid to retrain operators who make mistakes, because the next error may be deadly. 

 

Know Your Vehicle - There’s a wide variety of forklift types out there, with varying fuels, controls, speeds, heights, widths, turning radiuses and weight capacities. If you’ve been driving a diesel lift truck for decades, you may be totally out of your element operating a new electric model. If the forklift doesn’t do what you expect it to, you can cause a very serious accident. Get to know the vehicle slowly and carefully, in the safest environment available. 

 

Inspect Your Vehicles - Every forklift must be inspected before every use. The best operator is unsafe in a faulty vehicle. Here’s a general checklist:

 

  • Steering
  • Forks
  • Brakes
  • Horn
  • Lights
  • Cables
  • Mast and Overhead Guard
  • Tires
  • Fluids (if applicable)
     

Maintain Visibility - When operating, you want full 360 degree visibility whenever possible. If your load is blocking your view forward, drive in reverse. Use headlights and mirrors when needed, and make sure they’re well positioned and maintained. 

 

Dress for the Job - Never operate a forklift while wearing a cape, high heels and a long flowing dress. Wear the appropriate clothing and safety equipment. This includes a hard hat and a high visibility vest.

 

Mark the Floor - Markings on the floor of your work space create lanes, boundaries and flow of traffic designations that can help avoid accidents. Make sure the markings are highly visible. You don’t want employees walking into the path of an oncoming forklift. 

 

Other Tips

  • Keep forks low when moving
  • Look in direction of travel
  • Maintain proper speed
  • Know your vehicle’s capacity and load center
  • Don’t carry extra people
     

 

If you’re interested in forklift sales or rentals, come and talk to us at Ring Power Lift Trucks. For 60 years, our locally-owned and operated business has provided superior products and the newest technology in forklifts, exceeding our customers’ expectations. With 14 convenient locations throughout Florida, Ring Power Corporation has become one of the largest Caterpillar® dealers in the Southeastern United States because of our dedication to customer service. Whether you need to buy a new or used forklift, or you’d prefer a short-term or long-term forklift rental, we’re here for you. We also supply forklift parts and service in north and central Florida for every make and model of forklift.  Call 877.544.5438 or visit our website for more information.

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