When operating a forklift, the number one priority should always be safety. While forklifts themselves are not dangerous, there are a number of different hazards created by workplace environments that could cause an accident. When accidents happen, not only will it affect work efficiency but there is also a risk of injury. An accident could mean that an entire shipping order is delayed because of a damaged product or an injured employee. Make sure your operators are aware of these forklift hazards to avoid injuries and work delays.
Certain types of loads can create forklift hazards. A misshapen or unstable load can fall off if it is not secured properly. Carrying a heavy load with the forks too high can result in the forklift tipping over.
When operating around a loading dock, you have to pay attention to the details. If you don’t raise the forks to the appropriate level when unloading or loading a pallet, you could smash the load into the dock and damage it.
Adjust to Attachments
Installing different attachments on your forklifts can create a variety of hazards for the operator. Certain attachments extend the length and width of the forklift so if you don’t pay attention to the size difference you can easily bump into something.
Adding an attachment can change the weight capacity of the forklift. Also, when an attachment is added it can change the forklift’s center of gravity. This means if an attachment moves the load too far away from the truck, a heavy load could end up tipping the forklift over.
Some forklift hazards come from the specific work environment that you are operating in. For example, if you’re operating in a poorly ventilated area, the fuel operated forklift could produce a dangerous level of carbon monoxide.
The floor where you’re operating can create forklift hazards as well. Always ascend and descend ramps with caution. If you’re passing over a railroad track or traveling over uneven ground, be careful not to tip the forklift over or let the load fall off the forks. And operating the forklift on dirt or gravel will affect the traction your tires have, so drive slowly to avoid skidding out of control.
Beware of Pedestrians
Most forklift accidents involve pedestrians in some way or another. If the operator’s view is obstructed, he or she might not be able to see a nearby pedestrian that is in front of or alongside of the forklift.
When a forklift is traveling too fast, it can be difficult to come to an abrupt stop. Be sure to go the recommended speed limit so that you can stop in time when pedestrians are crossing your path. The recommended speed limit will depend on the situation so, be sure to check with OSHA’s recommended speed limits. Always be aware of the pedestrians around you and no matter what, never carry a passenger on the forklift.
Understanding Forklift Hazards is Imperative
When operating a forklift, no matter what the work environment is, it is crucial that you are cautious of these common forklift hazards. Make sure that you adjust to different attachments and the various load sizes that you have to carry. Remember to always be aware of your work environment and the people around you.
C&C Lift Truck is one of New Jersey’s leading forklift dealers. You have the option to rent, lease or buy our new or certified used equipment. When it comes to our customers, safety is our number one concern. We offer quality forklift safety training for all of your operators to ensure that they can prevent all forklift hazards. If you’re interested in buying or renting equipment, contact us today!