Operating a forklift requires several forklift safety measures. Like any vehicle, there are standard safety measures required for their operation. What is unique about forklifts is their design to hold additional weight, which also means additional safety. Improper use of a forklift can result in serious injuries or even fatalities due to the nature of weight that is transported by these vehicles.
Like any vehicle, whether it is made for the road or warehouse, the forklift is designed with more speed than necessary. Just because there is a top speed does not mean that operators should utilize it in most situations. Slower speeds are the preferred speeds, especially since forklifts are used for wide turns.
Stay With Your Forklift
Whatever you do, do not leave a powered on forklift unattended. If at all possible, you never want to leave it unattended, but if you must step around the corner, make sure to take the keys with you. This prevents the forklift from malfunctioning and causing accidents. Also, other operators or public patrons may take your running forklift if left unattended and cause potential damage while the forklift is signed out under your name. This can affect your responsibility and reputation within the company.
What is Your Weight Capacity?
While forklifts are designed to carry and move heavy items, all forklifts have a weight capacity. Although you think it seems as though the forklift may carry more than posted, do not under any circumstance add additional weight beyond that posted capacity. These weight limits are posted solely for safety purposes, and allow the forklift to operate safely with a certain amount of weight. While the forklift may hold additional weight, it can become too heavy and cause the forklift to flip during operation and cause extensive injury.
Use All Posted Roadways
When operating forklifts in a warehouse, there are always designated areas or roadways for these vehicles to utilize during the work hours. These areas are designed to ensure proper safety of employees, equipment, and products within the warehouse. To ensure forklift safety, only drive the forklift on these posted roadways. This ensures the safety of all workers, including your own personal safety. Having the forklift in an undesignated zone can cause an accident between a forklift and another vehicle, or forklift and a person.
One of the best ways to protect and promote forklift safety is to be healthy and alert personally throughout the duration of your shift. Make sure that you personally have enough sleep before beginning your shift and you maintain focus as you continue to operate the forklift. Just like any vehicle, an accident can happen in just a second, so always be prepared to stop.