As a forklift operator, you work with some of the most powerful equipment in any workplace, and you have to do it right every time to prevent injury and safety violations. Even when you’ve done it for years, you have room to improve your work.
These tips for forklift drivers and lift truck operators can help anyone do better work and feel safer on the job.
1. Become a Certified Forklift Operator
If you still need to get your forklift license, earning one is one of the easiest ways to ensure you’re qualified.
2. Inspect the Forklift Daily
Taking a few minutes at the beginning of every shift to see that your forklift is in working order can minimize the chances of injury and the need for costly maintenance.
3. Drive Often and Train Regularly
The best way to improve at anything is to practice often. The longer you work as a forklift driver, the better you’ll get at handling the machine.
4. Wear the Proper Clothing
Forklift operators should always wear high-visibility clothing, a hard hat and safety shoes while operating machinery.
5. Use Safety Gear When Necessary
You may need extra equipment, like gloves and safety goggles, when transporting some materials.
6. Know Your Hazards
Know when you’re working with hazardous material and adjust the care you take accordingly. Do your best to avoid dangerous areas in your operating environment, such as wet floors.
7. Stay Aware of Your Surroundings
You should have a 360-degree view of your surroundings to avoid running into other people or property.
8. Keep Loads Stable
Make sure everything you transport is loaded safely and can stay stable while in motion.
9. Store Lift Trucks Properly
At the end of each shift, the operator should check battery, oil and fuel levels.
10. Stay Calm While Operating
If something out of the ordinary occurs, stay calm. Report the incident immediately and call a technician to handle any damage to your equipment.
Bonus — Use the Best Equipment for the Job
While learning how to become a better forklift operator is an excellent start, you need more when forklift safety and maximum productivity are your measures for success. The equipment you use is just as important. Whether you’re working from West Virginia, Western Pennsylvania or Northeast Ohio, you’ll find the best lift trucks at Burns Industrial Equipment.