Operating a forklift truck isn’t something that should be done haphazardly or without expertise. It can be dangerous for the driver and those around them. Whether you’re outdoors or inside a warehouse, there are certain precautions you must take.
Safety Tips for Lift Truck Operators
Industrial vehicles account for hundreds of injuries and several deaths each year in the United States. To avoid these costly and unfortunate incidents, follow these safety tips:
Lift trucks should only be operated by a trained driver. You might be tempted to attempt to operate one in a bind, but this can lead to big problems, injuries or fines. Training should include refreshers several times a year.
Proper Use Protocols
There should be standardized and posted protocols for proper use of lift trucks. There should be a checklist of tasks to be done before operating the truck, during use, and after parking. For examples, a checklist for a pre-inspection should be posted near the truck and followed before each use.
Pro Tip: All employees, even those that don’t operate lift trucks, should understand and respect safety protocols for the work site.
Avoid Restricted Areas
Do not permit anyone to stand on or walk under a load, lifting mechanism or attachment. The load could easily fall and cause serious injury to anyone standing below. Never place hands or feet on the cross members of a lift truck mast as serious injury will be caused if the mast is lowered while your hands or feet are on it.
This goes beyond a cursory glance in front of you and behind the lift. If visibility is obstructed, enlist the help of a lookout or helper to guide you around obstacles.
It’s important that you handle loads carefully and check them closely for stability and balance before raising, lowering or moving. Take extra care when moving objects or materials that may be prone to toppling your truck. Additionally, carrying a load that is too heavy is a gamble, potentially making your truck unstable.
Investing in high-quality equipment can help you avoid safety issues that tend to occur as a result of poor craftsmanship and faulty components. When your lift truck transmission is showing signs of wear, consider investing in a rebuilt Allison transmission from Copeland.