A forklift is a heavy duty piece of equipment that needs to be operated properly to avoid workplace hazards. You need to make a special effort to ensure that dangerous mistakes aren't being made at your facility that could compromise the health and safety of everyone present.
The following are five big forklift operation mistakes that could potentially cause injury if proper precautions aren't taken against them:
Operating a forklift with dangerously obstructed visibility
Even during normal operation, a forklift operator's visibility is already obstructed to a certain extent by the forklift platform, its load, and/or any attachments that are being used.
Care needs to be taken to keep visual obstructions at an absolute minimum. If the forklift operator's load is especially large and intrusive into his or her line of vision, the operator needs to compensate by operating the forklift more slowly than normal and by warning those in its path with an alarm siren.
Overloading a forklift with too much weight
Many facility managers and forklift operators don't take the time to look into what the capacity limits are on forklift equipment. Forklift operation is such an everyday task at many facilities, and this unfortunately makes it so that safety regulations are sometimes unwisely overlooked.
Overloading a forklift can cause the machine to become unbalanced and fall over. Overloading can also damage the forklift and any attachments that are used with it. Check the operational handbook produced by the manufacturer of your forklift so that you know what the maximum weight capacities are on the machinery you're using every day.
Neglecting to tie down a load during operation
Securing forklift loads is the best way to prevent accidents at your facility. By simply taking a moment to tie loads down, you can raise your productivity by preventing time consuming spills and costly damage to your equipment and/or products.
Choosing an inappropriate attachment while working with a forklift
If you're using attachments on your forklift, you need to be sure that you're using the right attachment for the right job function. It's not usually a good idea to get creative about attachment use. Use attachments for what they were built for and you'll minimize the chances of accidents and equipment damage.
Permitting operators to work with a forklift before they've seen the operational handbook
Forklift operating experience may be such a basic skill at your facility that it is taken for granted. However, it's important to make note of the fact that every forklift is different and includes its own unique set of controls and capabilities.
Make sure that all of your forklift operators have a look at the operational guidelines laid out by the manufacturer of your facility forklifts to keep everyone safe.