Skip to main content

Importance of Forklift Safety

 Forklifts are one of the most used pieces of equipment on your worksite. Just like with any industrial equipment, they can pose a safety risk if not used by properly trained crews. According to Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), an estimated 34,900 serious injuries and 85 fatal accidents are caused by forklifts every year. 

Tips for Forklift Safety

At Trupar America, we’ve put together some helpful tips to keep you and your crew safe while operating a forklift. 

Get Proper Training

With 25% of forklift accidents being caused by inadequate training, it is important to only allow those who have been trained and licensed to run a forklift. Make sure your operators have a forklift certification, and be sure to evaluate employee performance once every three years. You can supplement their training with demonstrations, lectures, videos, and more. 

Perform Daily Equipment Inspections

Your crew should know to inspect the forklift prior to every use. We recommend that the shift supervisor perform daily checks. They can then identify and log any problems or defects they find. If the forklift requires repairs, it should not be operated. We recommend that you check the following:

  • Check for oil, water, and radiator leaks.
  • Check for any potential hazards.
  • Inspect the overhead guard and mast for any damage.
  • Check tire pressure and fluid levels.
  • Check the forks to make sure they are straight and without any cracks or distortion.
  • Test the controls (brakes, lights, horn, steering wheel) to ensure they are working properly. 
Wear Appropriate Clothing 

Proper clothing for forklift operators includes:
  • Safety shoes
  • Hard hats
  • High-visibility jacket
Be sure that your forklift operators also tuck in any loose clothing to keep it from being caught on the machine. 

Know the Class of the Forklift

Based on information from OSHA, there are several different forklift types and classifications to keep in mind. Each type has its own weight limit, structure, turning radius, usage, and traveling speed, so it is crucial to know the forklift’s class prior to operating. 

Use a Floor Marking System

To increase worker safety, we recommend that you use yellow to mark physical hazards, such as areas where stumbling or falling can occur. You will also want to use red to make fire equipment, fire hazards, and emergency switches. 

We also recommend that you place signs and way finders through your worksite to keep pedestrians out of the way of forklift paths while also keeping the forklift on safe routes and improving the flow of machinery and foot traffic. 

Maintain Complete Visibility

When operating the forklift, the forks should be kept low to the ground so you have clear forward visibility. For times when the load restricts your forward visibility, you should operate the equipment in reverse. When positioning a load, you want to be sure that you have a clear view of the rack. OSHA best practices for visibility include:

  • Make eye contact with other workers and pedestrians.
  • Maintain your look in the direction of travel. 
  • Use your headlights if you are working outdoors, at night, or in areas where the lighting is limited. 
  • Utilize rear-view mirrors for better visibility. 
Move at the Appropriate Speed

Just like with a car, it is crucial to operate your forklift at the designated speed limit. You also want to make sure that you are not stopping, turning, or changing direction suddenly, or taking turns too fast, as this can cause the forklift to tip over. If the forklift does start to tip, remain in the machine, grab the wheel, and brace your feet. 

Keep Loads Secure and Stable

When placing a load, you want to make sure that it is balanced. When traveling, you should have the load tilted backward, keeping the forks as low as you can. This will increase the stability of the machine, specifically when navigating ramps. It is also important to use rope or bindings to keep heavy loads and stacks secure. 

Ways to Improve Your Forklift Safety

One of the best ways to improve your forklift safety is to buy or rent a forklift that is safely maintained and comes from a trusted supplier like Trupar America. Safe quality equipment, in addition to operator training and certification, can help create a safer work environment for your entire crew. When searching for “forklift dealers near me,” be sure to choose Trupar America with our extensive selection of new and used forklifts to choose from. 

Popular posts from this blog

Clark Announces Expansion of Standard Warranty

CLARK Material Handling Company, one of the top-ten global manufacturers of forklifts and spare parts, is expanding their CLARK standard warranty for Carriage to Counterweight and Powertrain coverage for up to three years. What Does This Warranty Cover? As of April 1, 2021, the CLARK protection Plan standard warranty covers Full Carriage to Counterweight for two years or 4,000 hours, whichever comes first, and the Powertrain for three years or 6,000 hours whichever comes first.  With this warranty, clients can enjoy an expanded bumper-to-bumper warranty that will ensure that the purchase of a CLARK forklift is built to last for years to come.  What Does This Expansion Mean for Trupar America Customers? With this new two-year/4,000-hour warranty, clients of Trupar America will enjoy the peace of mind of protection and coverage when purchasing CLARK products for your business. This warranty works to ensure that if you experience an electrical or mechanical issue with your CLARK forklift

Parts and Terms for a Forklift

When operating a forklift, it is crucial to know the parts and terms for the material handling equipment you use to help promote safe operation. At Trupar America , we have put together a guide on some of the main parts of a forklift to help you get started:  Cab  This is the area where the operator sits or stands. The cab contains the controls for operating the forklift, including the lift controls, steering wheel, accelerator, brake pedals, safety signals, etc. Counterweight This is an essential part of a counterbalance forklift truck. The counterweight works to prevent the trucks from tipping over when lifting and transporting a heavy load.  Forks Forks are two big steel tines that come out from the front of the truck and are used to handle materials, lift pallets, and remove products from high shelves.  Fuel Tank These are featured on gas-powered forklifts. The fuel tank is attached to the rear of the forklift and holds the fuel for the truck. Fuel type varies by model and can be d

Proper Forklift Battery Maintenance

Keeping your forklift batteries well maintained lessens the need for replacements and helps lower your costs. To ensure you get the most out of your forklift batteries, you want to ensure that you have regular maintenance intervals set up for all of your batteries. Many lead-acid batteries can outlast their warranties and power your forklift for years longer than the average battery lifespan when you care for them properly.  At Trupar America, we have put together some proper maintenance tips to help you care for your forklift batteries and extend their life.  How Often Do I Need to Perform Battery Maintenance? We've put together a general checklist for forklift battery maintenance which can be adjusted based on your forklift usage and application.  Weekly Battery Maintenance Check water cells after charging. Check electrolyte levels. Check for acidic residue on battery cases and spot clean if needed.  Perform an equalization charge. Measure the specific gravity of the battery with