The Most Common Forklift Fouls and How to Avoid Them

30 Apr 2016, by Anthony in Forklift Training News

Operating a forklift is one of the most popular career choices in the world as there are warehouses, docks, and industrial companies relatively everywhere. Although it might be a popular certificate to have under your belt, operating a forklift is something that requires an ample amount of training and expertise. With the right training from companies such as Pro Trainers UK, you can learn how to avoid the most common forklift fouls to provide a safe and comfortable working environment for you and your co-workers.

The Dangers of Operating a Forklift

With the combination of untrained operators and lax standards, forklifts are one of the main causes of workplace injuries and deaths, according to the Health and Safety Executive in the UK. Between 2014 and 2015 there were over 23 deaths and 500 different injuries as a result of collisions through forklifts and other vehicles. As an operator it is your responsibility to ensure that you have the right training and adhere to strict standards to avoid common mistakes that could change your life and someone else’s life forever.

Knowing the Load Capacity

Much like any other type of vehicle if you don’t know the total amount of load that you can carry on your forklift, it can cause your vehicle to become incredibly unstable. A load that is too heavy will surely cause it to tip or operate in a way that you have little to no control. The best way to determine your load capacity is by checking the data plate. All of the information that you could need including your total load capacity can be found in this here and it should be completely unaltered. In the event that you notice it’s been tampered with, do not use the machine until talking to your employer.

Know Where You’re Going

Depending on where you work, there could be tight spaces to navigate through and not knowing your path before you get in your forklift can be hazardous. It is essential that you know the layout of the area so you know what turns to take, how sharp the turns are, and if there are any obstacles in the area. This is also essential for ensuring that you have a sufficient amount of work progress as you won’t have to worry about losing time trying to manipulate the forklift into tight spaces. Don’t take chances it is better to wait for a safer direction to open than to squeeze in somewhere.

Secure Your Load

Ensuring that your load is properly secured is imperative parts of any trade. This could be difficult depending on the amount of items that you’re transporting. Regardless of how far you have to travel with the forklift, ensure that all items (whether symmetrical or oddly shaped) are properly secured, taking extra care particularly with awkwardly shaped items.

Communicate with Co-Workers

There will undoubtedly be people working in the same area as you, to create a safe and comfortable working environment ensure you communicate with everyone. Let people know when you intend on using the forklift, where you’re going with it, and tell them to watch out for you. This also means that if someone is operating a forklift, ensure that you also follow their warnings.

Getting In and Out of the Forklift Properly

Slips and trips are the number one cause of injury in the workplace and you would be surprised to find how easy it is to slip in and out of your forklift. This is why most workplaces require employees to wear a certain type of footwear while operating machinery as it gives you the extra grip needed. Check for slick substances and ensure that your shoes are sufficient for the job.

Checking Fluid Levels and Batteries

Forklifts are like cars in a way where you’ll have to constantly monitor their hydraulic fluid levels and their battery power. Without a sufficient amount of both, you won’t be able to do your job and attempting to use the vehicle without the right charge could be dangerous.

Operate Inspected Machinery

Inspections are essential to let everyone know that a particular type of equipment is safe and ready for operation and without one, you have no idea as to whether the forklift is even working in the first place. There are a variety of examinations that your forklift has to go through. With the help of specialty companies, every machine on the property should have an inspection certificate that says the equipment is safe to use.

Misusing the Forklift

Deciding to speed while you’re behind the wheel, operating the machinery irresponsibly, or using it for purposes outside of work are not only offences that could get you fired, but they could also put everyone in danger. As a professional you have the knowledge, training, and skill necessary to know what your job is and how to do it properly without putting yourself and others at risk.

Parking the Equipment

Safety isn’t only in effect while you’re operating the forklift but is also you’re responsibility for making sure that the equipment is parked properly. Ensure you follow all of the guidelines, signage to put the forklift where it’s supposed to go, the direction controls are neutral, it is parked, and that the ignition is off.




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