The Importance of Forklift Safety

One of the most important things in a warehouse is safety. If any accidents occur, it’s going to fall on the manager and the warehouse or company owner. That’s why it’s vital to train all employees on all safety procedures and make certain that they’re followed.

While all areas of safety are important, forklift safety is especially important because of how much damage a forklift can do. June 9th was National Forklift Safety Day, and there are several reasons why this vehicle gets its own day.

The Dangers a Forklift Poses

A forklift is a very heavy, very powerful piece of equipment. If it’s not driven and operated correctly and with safety in mind, it can do a lot of damage. If, for example, the operator were to swing around quickly and without looking, the forks could easily hit nearby warehouse shelving, denting it or even causing the shelves to collapse. Or, if they were to hit a person, at best it would knock them over.

In addition to maneuvering the forks around, a forklift operator has to pay very close attention to driving, especially if they’re driving backwards. A forklift isn’t exactly like other vehicles because it does have the long forks in the front. The operator has to make certain there’s plenty of room to turn and that nothing is in the way.

Then there’s the issue of driving with a full load. If an operator isn’t trained in safety, it can be easy to unbalance the forklift, causing the load to fall or the entire vehicle to tip over. This not only leads to damaged product, but it can also severely injure the operator and others nearby.

Basic Forklift Safety

With these dangers in mind, it’s time to take a look at basic forklift safety. The first and most important thing is that a trained, licensed individual must always operate a forklift. No one without training should ever drive a forklift, even if it’s just to move it from one location to another. Again, a forklift isn’t like any other vehicle, and driving it requires training.

Another basic safety rule is to always make sure any forklift that is being used has been thoroughly checked over regularly. A forklift that has not been properly maintained may malfunction. It could be something as basic as running out of power, or it may be something as bad as the hydraulic lift malfunctioning. That could cause the entire load to go tumbling off the forklift.

Make sure you and your team knows what maintenance checks need to be done and how often they need to be done. Then make certain to review the maintenance logs regularly to check that this work is being performed as required.

Warehouse Safety

You also need to check your warehouse over to make certain that the forklifts you have can be used safely in it. For example, if your aisles are too narrow, you may not have room to safely maneuver a forklift up and down them. In that case, you either need to look for smaller forklifts or adjust your aisle size. You also have to make certain you’re using strong ramps in all areas and that any location where a forklift is in operation is properly lit.

What questions do you have about forklift safety? Comment below to join the conversation!

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