FORKLIFT SAFETY TIPS TO AVOID INJURIES OR ACCIDENT IN THE WORKPLACE
The forklift is one of the most commonly used pieces of equipment on the worksite. These powered industrial trucks are used to lift and transport loads with deft and precision. Although forklifts are powerful, there is risk involved in operating any industrial machine.
The second parts of our safety tips are as follows:
7. Maintain Equipment Capacity: Be aware of the capacity of your forklift and any attachments used. Avoid hauling weight that exceeds the counterweight of the forklift. Overloading a forklift can cause the rear wheels to rise off the ground and the whole machine to fall over, causing injury to personnel and damage to the equipment and materials.
8. Never Carry Extra People: Do not allow other workers to ride on the equipment with you unless a second seat is fitted into the forklift. Do no use the forklift to lift people, as forklifts are designed to carry loads. If you need to lift a person, use only a secure work platform and cage.
9. Pay Attention to the Forklift’s Stability: Before using a forklift, make sure your hands and shoes are completely dry and sit in a comfortable position with all the controls within reach. In addition to seating yourself securely, take the following steps before operating the forklift to increase your safety.
Each forklift has a center of gravity – the point where the weight has equal concentration – that it shares with the load it carries. Forklifts are built on a three-point suspension system, called the “stability triangle” that operators must stay within to prevent it from tipping over. The heavier the load, the further out the center of gravity is from the load center, decreasing your forklift’s lifting capacity.
10. Ensure Loads are Stable and Secure: When placing loads on the loading dock, be sure to check them for balance. Travel with the load tilted backwards and keep forks as low as possible to increase the stability of the equipment, especially when navigating on ramps. Use ropes or bindings to secure stacks and heavy loads if necessary and make sure any pallets or skids used are the appropriate weight for the load.
11. Move at the Appropriate Speed: Drive your forklift within the designated speed limits. It’s important to not stop, turn, change directions suddenly, or move fast when making sharp turns, as these actions can cause the forklift to tip over. If your forklift starts to dip, do not try to jump clear of the machine. Experts recommend staying in the vehicle, gripping the wheel, and bracing your feet.
12. Maintain a Safe Operating Distance: Always be mindful of the surrounding equipment on the worksite. Do not operate a forklift in close proximity to other machinery unless absolutely necessary, and keep a safe distance to allow you room to stop safely and avoid other machines that are moving in an unpredictable manner.
13. Avoid Hazardous Areas of the Equipment: Avoid standing or walking under a load, lifting mechanism, or forklift attachment, as loads can fall off on anyone positioned below it. Keep hands and feet clear away from the forklift mast, as a moving mast can cause serious injury.
14. Refuel and Recharge the Forklift: It’s important to keep equipment fully charged and fueled. Be sure to recharge and refuel in specially designated locations, which are usually well-ventilated and flame-free areas. Be diligent in switching off the equipment every time it’s being refueled.
15. Park the Forklift at the End of the Shift: At the end of the shift, be sure to always park the equipment in the designated and authorized areas. The construction company should make sure the parking areas do not block pathways or obstruct any exits or entrances. Fully lower the forks until they fit the floor, apply the parking brake, turn off the engine, and remove the key from the ignition.
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National Industrial Safety Council of Nigeria (NISCN) is Nigeria’s first and oldest safety organization. It is a tripartite consultative Occupational Safety and Health Council which was established May 26th 1964 by a Federal Government cabinet decision under the sponsorship of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment in line with ILO Convention 187 (Promotional Framework for Occupational Safety and Health Convention.