Research from OSHA estimates there 85 fatal accidents involving forklifts each year. Beyond this, there are several thousand forklift injuries categorized as serious. 

While forklifts can drastically improve efficiency, it’s also clear they are dangerous if not used properly. 

As such, it’s important to understand proper forklift practices to mitigate accidents. There are several things to keep in mind for forklift safety. This guide will examine 7 tips worth remembering in your workplace. 

1) Only Let Certified Employees Operate 

Quite a few forklift accidents are a result of inadequate training. Therefore, the only employees operating the lift should have their certification. 

The forklift certification will teach operators forklift safety training and proper techniques. 

2) Wear the Seatbelt

If you have your certification, one of the first things you learned is to wear your seatbelt. It can be tempting to hop on the lift and complete a task without the seat belt.

However, the seat belt is one of the best safety measures. If the lift tips over, the safest place for the operator to be is in the seat frame with the seatbelt on. 

3) Never Exceed the Load Limit

Different types of forklifts will have different load capacities. The manual will tell you the recommended weight limit for your machine. Exceeding the capacity of the counterweight can tip a forklift over. Never go overload the forks. 

4) Schedule Equipment Inspections

A forklift is a machine. Like all machines, it is going to require periodic maintenance. A good practice to get into the habit of is scheduling forklift inspections. 

Keep a checklist to examine the fuel levels, hydraulic cables, brakes, and other components. A thorough inspection will limit the chance for incidents. 

5) Don’t Lose Focus 

It’s easy to get lost in a task on a forklift. For example, organizing pallets on double deep racking can be a complicated process. Operators can lose focus on their surroundings during such work.

However, it’s critical to be aware of what’s going on around the forklift. Watch out for any obstacles in the way. In particularly complicated jobs, it may be a good idea to have an employee act as a second pair of eyes. 

6) Keep Weight Low to the Ground

When driving a forklift, always keep the load low. When moving from point A to B, the payload should stay nearer the ground. This will keep the center of gravity lower.

This improved balance decreased the chances of the machine tipping. Only raise the payload when you have reached your destination. 

7) Watch Your Speed

Forklifts have the capability to move quickly. This speed, combined with thousand-pound payloads, is a recipe for disaster. 

Therefore, it’s important to keep an eye on your speed during operations. Slow maneuvering will keep the forklift from tipping or keep equipment from sliding off. 

Practice Forklift Safety 

If not used correctly, the forklift can be a dangerous machine. Yet, if you keep these forklift safety tips in mind, you will limit accidents and improve efficiency. 

If you found this guide useful, browse the blog for more workplace practices. 

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