Awareness About The Physical Hazards Of Forklift Trucks Holds The Key To Its Safe Use

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Forklift trucks are often associated with injuries and deaths at the workplace. To avoid disasters, business owners have to work in close collaboration with forklift truck operators to ensure safe operations.  The equipment has some inherent dangers that stem from its design. Forklift trucks are compact in design and maneuverable. Despite incorporating the best safety features in the design, there are chances that the truck might topple over when carrying loads as it can become unstable when moving with loads. A combination of greater maneuverability together with lower stability and the possibility of moving in areas of free traffic are the reasons why forklift trucks are likely to be unsafe. Even at very low speeds, forklift trucks can cause considerable damage to pedestrians and drivers may even be injured.

Safety measures for drivers

While you cannot do much to reduce the inherent risks of forklift trucks, you can make the workplace safer by following some safe work practices.  You must create a safe work environment and train workers and forklift truck operators so that they follow safety guidelines. The onus is much more on forklift truck drivers who can adopt the following measures to enhance security.

  • Drive the equipment by adhering to the specified speed limits and pay heed to the warning signs.
  • Slow down whenever you feel the need.
  • Whenever you are at the intersection, do not forget to sound the horn.
  • Wear the seat belt correctly.

Business owners to play their part well

Business owners have a lot of responsibility to ensure safety at workplace and must look into the aspects that can help to avoid accidents and injuries occurring from forklift trucks.

  • All forklift operators must have a valid license for operating the equipment.
  • Although forklift drivers receive training, a business owner has to ensure that the skills are adequate according to the site conditions. If needed, drivers must undergo refresher training to update their site-specific skills.
  • Drivers must receive familiarization training before operating a new type of forklift truck.
  • If there is a change in the work environment or traffic management or any policy change, forklift drivers must go through induction training for an update.

Know the limitations of the equipment

The better you know about the limitations of the equipment, more safely you will be able to operate it. Knowing about when forklifts can tip over will help you to avoid dangers.

  • Avoid applying sudden brakes when carrying loads and when moving in the reverse direction do not accelerate quickly.
  • If you use brakes or accelerate when cornering or rolling down a slope, the vehicle may tip over.
  • Avoid carrying an unevenly balanced load and do not carry the load down a slope.
  • Check first if the forklift is capable of towing and then use it for pushing or pulling. Do not take a sharp turn.
  • Above all, drive safely to avoid collision with another vehicle.

By following the tips given in this article, you can minimize the risks associated with the use of forklift trucks.