1. Well-Trained Operators: Only employees who are trained and licensed should operate forklift trucks. It might sound obvious, but a high percentage of workplace accidents involve operator error. Safeguard yourself, your business, and other employees by ensuring your operators are thoroughly trained and aware of the importance of safely and correctly using their trucks.
2. Daily Equipment Inspection: OSHA requires daily inspections of forklift trucks, and these inspections also help with preventative maintenance of trucks. Forklifts that are inspected daily, will last longer and perform better because they can be maintained before something breaks or severe damage due to usage takes place.
3. Properly Start Operating Shifts:
-Be sure shoe soles are not wet or slick and that hands have been washed and dried, in order to avoid slippage and potential accidents.
-Find a comfortable position before beginning to work, as adjusting or discomfort can be distracting.
-Have all controls within reach, mirrors adjusted, and safety belt fastened before beginning work.
4. Optimal Speed: Trucks should always be operated and driven at the appropriate and posted speed limits within the warehouse. Turns should be taken with care, as varying weight-loads will impact the speed and sharpness with which turns can be taken. Avoid sudden starts or stops and turns – that’s an easy way to cause an accident with another truck or a pedestrian on the floor.
5. Load Stability: Ensure that all loads are secure before transporting them, and do not lift or lower unstable materials. In order to assist in correctly loading materials onto the forklift, be sure that pallets are correctly and safely loaded and stacked.
6. Equipment Capacity: This goes hand-in-hand with stability – make sure that the load capacity does not surpass what the truck is capable of handling. Overloading can cause the rear wheels to lift and the truck eventually to tip, damaging the materials and causing injuries.
7. End Of Shift/Shift Change: Trucks should always be parked in their designated areas after a shift. The fork should be fully lowered to the floor and the truck should be powered off with keys removed, to avoid accidental starts or theft.