As you know, forklifts play a crucial role in business activity. And yet they also represent a major element of accident and collision risks. This is why it is often necessary to follow basic forklift rules and constantly remind you how to properly operate a forklift.
Even if your forklift operator staff is knowledgeable and regularly receives training in forklift driving, these few tips will help you make your teams vigilant about safety. Here is the operator’s BA, before taking up a shift, while driving the lift truck and at the end of the shift. Before even getting on the forklift, the driver must inspect the vehicle to ensure that the components are in good condition. From the tires and forks, to the battery and the oil and coolant levels, a thorough check is necessary.
It is the driver’s responsibility to check that the lift truck does not represent any danger. It all starts with checking the direction of the lift truck as well as the effectiveness of the front and rear brakes. Hydraulic controls for tilting and raising the mast should also be tested. For employee safety, the horn must be functional at all times.
For his own safety and that of other employees, the driver of the lift truck must have full visibility while driving. Consequently, he must adjust the convex safety mirrors, the back-up alarms – sound and light – in order to signal his presence to pedestrians in the vicinity. It is also strongly recommended that you look into the distance in order to spot potential dangers.
A forklift may tip forward if the load is too heavy, or if the load’s center of gravity is farther than the recommended center of gravity. A forklift truck can also tip onto its side, with excessive speed and too narrow a turning radius being the two main causes. If a rollover occurs, it is important to remain in the lift truck at all times.
Several basic rules must be observed when handling a forklift. In addition to knowing, how to get on and off the vehicle safely, the driver should oper ate the forklift at a safe speed and should be prepared to brake at all times. During a maneuver, he must ensure that there are no pedestrians in the area. When traveling near pedestrians, he must always be on the alert and take the utmost caution.
When handling a load, the driver must be patient and thorough. After delicately lifting the load, he goes to the location provided for stacking. It is only after having immobilized the lift truck that it will be able to lift the load to the desired height. The driver will then bring the fork arm to the horizontal, and then slowly drop the load. Before disengaging the fork and backing up the lift truck, it is important to make sure that the way is clear. For unloading loads, or unloading, the procedure is essentially the same, but in the reverse order.
Obstructed traffic lanes can endanger workers and result in property damage to equipment and forklifts. Therefore, keeping the aisles free allows the free movement of forklifts and greatly reduces the risk of accidents.
In order not to cause damage to the forklift or to the equipment, it is important to check the condition of the pallets used and to avoid using the broken ones. The driver must be careful not to roll over pieces of defective pallets, as this could cause significant damage to the forklift.
The lift truck must be equipped with a lifting platform fixed to the apron, which frames the forks. If the platform does not have a lifting control, the operator must remain at his post at all times. The worker hoisted into the lifting platform must wear a safety harness and attach to the platform. For the safety of the hoisted worker, the lift truck must remain stationary at all times.
When maneuvering on a delivery platform or bridge, the driver of the lift truck will first check the condition of the bridge as well as its maximum load. On a slope, the forks of the forklift will point down the slope if it is empty, and point up the slope if it is loaded. The lift truck should never turn when it is on a slope.