When you’re managing day-to-day forklift operations, safety checks can be the difference between severe injury and liability or a job done well. Complying with OSHA forklift safety requirements and best practices can help you keep everyone at the facility safer and more productive. Keep these essential forklift safety tips in mind to handle your applications properly and efficiently.
1. Do a Routine Inspection Before Operating
Every time you’re preparing to operate a forklift, take time to do a routine check of key equipment and mechanisms. Some items to inspect include brakes, controls, steering, warning devices and masts. Notify management about any issues you notice before putting the machine to work.
2. Wear Appropriate Personal Protective Equipment
Ensure you have the protective equipment required to operate the forklift safely at all times. Recommended PPE includes hard hats, high-visibility clothing and protective footwear. Before using the forklift, check that your clothing is appropriately fitted so loose cloth won’t get caught in the machinery.
3. Adjust for Your Use
When you start up the forklift, take time to seat yourself securely and put on your seatbelt before moving. Check that all controls you’ll need are in reach, position your seat correctly and adjust the mirrors for optimal visibility. Be sure all parts of your body are safely within the operator’s cabin.
4. Pay Attention to Your Surroundings
As you begin using the lift, stay alert and watch what’s happening in your work environment. Follow any site-specific guidelines and protocols and drive only on designated paths. If you’re operating near a loading dock or ramp, be careful to stay a safe distance from the edge to prevent a fall. Stay aware of the mast, load and overhead guard height as you enter or exit any building. You’ll also want to observe all signs carefully, particularly for clearance heights and maximum permitted floor loads.
5. Ensure Your Load Is Stable
Before moving any load, check to be sure it is fully stable and tilted back so the forks are sitting low. The proper position will increase the vehicle’s overall stability. Another critical best practice is to ensure loads are stacked across both forks with an even weight distribution. If needed, you should use a binding method to help secure unstable objects.
6. Follow Power-Down Protocols
Ensure you park the forklift in an authorized area when your shift ends. The forks should be fully lowered to the floor, and the parking brakes should be set for added security. The forklift should only be allowed to run when someone is actively using it. Before you leave, check that the machine is turned off and the key removed.
Choose Burns Industrial Equipment for Your Material Handling Needs
When you need a trusted supplier for forklifts and other material handling equipment, Burns Industrial Equipment can meet your requirements. We offer an extensive inventory of products to address your applications safely and reliably while delivering top performance. Whatever you’re looking for to get the job done, work with us for prompt service and dependable equipment solutions.
Our product offerings include new, use and rental equipment in western Pennsylvania, northeast Ohio and West Virginia. To explore how we can support your operational needs, find our location nearest you today.