Stepping-on-truck Even though a forklift is designed to be as safe and ergonomic as possible, it is nonetheless a piece of equipment that can be dangerous if not used correctly. All companies that do material handling should have a safety policy, but a busy and ever-changing warehouse is a place where safety is a top priority.
Fortunately, warehouse work can be very secure if certain rules are strictly followed and potentially risky practices are prohibited. This list is long, but here are some safety rules that are important to keep in mind on a daily basis.
Do not exceed the maximum capacity of the cart
In order to save time, it is tempting for some to try and use the forklift to carry a load heavier than it is designed for. It’s a bad idea. Overloading a forklift does not only increase the risk of damage and breakdowns that will lead to downtime – it is also a very risky behavior that can lead to serious accidents. Observe the specified lifting capacity to ensure that your lift truck will be able to handle the load safely.
Remember to remove the key from the ignition before leaving the truck
It can be easy to overlook this, but it is important for operators to make sure that the truck cannot be started by someone else. On some forklifts this involves removing the key from the ignition, but on others the driver may need to log out via the on-board computer. This is to ensure that no untrained or unauthorized person can drive it, which could have safety consequences.
Do not lift anyone onto the forks of the truck – without a suitable platform
Some order pickers are designed to lift people up high, so that they can reach high racks. But other forklifts aren’t made for this, which means forks should never be used to lift anything other than a proper load. Lifting a person with forks can be fatal, not to mention your country’s health and safety regulations. If you must use a standard forklift to lift a person, platform accessories that are attached to the forks can be used.
Do not travel with the load above the permissible transport height
More and more forklifts are designed to provide the operator with good visibility through the mast. However, it will not help if the load is lifted and obstructs the view – at the same time making the operation much more dangerous for the operator and for others in the warehouse. Driving with too high a load can also affect the stability of the truck, potentially making it more vulnerable to tip-over when cornering. The maximum recommended height is approximately 200 mm.
Sometimes the load on your forklift is too high to allow good forward visibility, even if the forks are at the correct height. In this case, it is safer to travel in the opposite direction, allowing the operator to clearly see any obstacles.
Unlike some errors that are caused by the operator, this situation could occur inadvertently. However, it is important to be constantly vigilant when using forklifts to prevent this from happening. A person standing under the raised forks could be seriously injured if the forks come down or if objects fall from the load – it is therefore essential to keep a safe distance.
Creating a culture of safety in your material handling operations takes time, but it is worth it. If you want to get these safety guidelines as a poster that you can display in your workplace, click the button below – just fill out the form on the next page, and the poster will be yours.
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