With over three million workers using vehicles as part of their daily jobs in the UK, it has become paramount to ensure that employees understand how to safely operate forklift trucks. Forklift trucks need maximum caution before, during and after use as they can cause fatal injuries.
The Forklift Truck Association is raising awareness of forklift safety this month with the launch of ‘Safetember’. To show our support to the FLTA and its awareness campaign, here’s our take on the do’s and don’ts of forklift trucks, a set of Forklift Safety Tips which will be useful for anyone who uses these highly powerful machines.
Forklift Safety Tips
- Carry out risk assessment and check that the forklift truck is safe to use before operating. Prevention is better than cure, so lookout for any problems that could cause you or others around you to suffer from injuries.
- Move the forklift truck at a speed suitable for the location and the load you are carrying. It’s vital that you take great care when approaching doorways, crossings and corners – a fitted warning system can be very beneficial in these instances. If your forklift truck has this system then make the most of it to help you avoid accidents.
- Check that the weight of the load you are carrying is adequate for the type and size of your forklift truck. Overloading the truck can result in a fatal injury to you and/or others, the load may also get damaged resulting in loss of resources and money.
- Take care in areas where pedestrians may be present as well as other workers. As a forklift operator, it is your duty to ensure that you put the safety of others first.
- Ensure that any accidents or injuries caused as a result of forklift operating are reported and investigated. This helps to create better health and safety policies and procedures to limit future incidents from occurring.
- Operate forklift trucks that have been marked as faulty, are under maintenance or have not been inspected.
- Allow unauthorised access to the lift trucks, especially if individuals are not qualified and trained to operate them.
- Carry people in the lift trucks or lift them using the forks or pallets unless a lifting cage is available or required.
- Continue to operate the lift truck if the load obstructs your vision. Proceed by decreasing the load so you can see all around you, including the blind spots. You could miss people who are closer to the load and cause them to suffer a fatal injury.
- Park the lift truck on a slope and ensure that that the ground is levelled.
For more tips on managing health and safety in your workplace follow us on twitter @RSC_LTD, visit our risk assessments page or contact us directly on 01623 726 243.