Operating a forklift can be extraordinarily helpful for getting a job done quickly and efficiently. However, a forklift can be a very unsafe piece of equipment if an untrained operator is behind the wheel. If you are thinking about investing in a forklift or renting one, continue reading to make sure you are familiar with the important safety precautions for safe forklift use.
Before using a forklift, always perform a visual and operational inspection. This is required to be completed at the beginning of any shift. Providing an operator with a checklist of items to inspect will allows for a more thorough and complete inspection.
When operating a forklift, the driver must always keep their head and limbs inside the truck at all times. The forks should be as low as possible to the ground and be slightly tilted. During operation, a safe speed should be used for the conditions of the environment and the forklift’s brakes should be applied gently rather than all at once. When the forklift has a large load that’s blocking the driver’s view, the operator should travel slowly in reverse and be looking in the direction that the forklift is moving.
Before adding weight to the forklift, the driver should be familiar with the specific forklift’s lifting capabilities, which are found on the data plate. Exceeding the forklift’s capabilities can make the forklift unstable and damage the forklift. When carrying a heavy load, steer the forklift carefully, and be sure that the weight of the load is concentrated mostly towards the front wheels and forks under the load as far as possible to ensure optimal stability.
After use, always park the forklift, engage the brakes, and lower the forks.