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Forklift Safety: 3 Things to Remember

Published September 18, 2019 by Matt Fendon Law Group | Firm News

Forklifts become a risk to the driver and other workers on the floor if they’re not managed properly. They can cause serious—and sometimes fatal—injuries.

These three important safety tips can help you stay safe while operating a forklift:

  1. Maintain proper speed
    Not being able to stop a forklift in time due to unsafe speeds is a common way to cause injury in the workplace. If your workplace has speed limits and warning signs, you already have an indication of the safest speed. If not, always err on the side of caution — especially when other workers or pedestrians may be present. The most common forklift-related injuries result when an operator is driving too fast and tips the forklift or collides with pedestrians. Always make sure to give yourself time to slow down when approaching a:

    • Stop sign
    • Intersection
    • Walkway
    • Turn
  2. Be aware of limited visibility
    In addition to maintaining safe speeds, it’s important to keep a clear view whenever possible. Be aware that shelving units and stacked pallets can create blind spots and obstructed viewpoints in warehouses.This becomes a bigger problem when reversing. To avoid crashing into something, look behind you instead of depending on the backup alarm to notify others of your presence. The noise of the floor might make this difficult to hear. Utilizing your rear-view mirrors and warning horn will also help you navigate workspaces safely.
  3. Secure your vehicle
    When parking and exiting a forklift, it’s important to ensure the vehicle will not move or become dangerous to others. To avoid the potential hazards of an unattended forklift:

    • Park on a level surface
    • Ensure the parking brake works and is fully engaged
    • Lower the lifting mechanisms completely
    • Neutralize and lock the controls, if possible
    • Remove the key from the ignition

Even the most experienced, careful operators may become injured in a forklift accident. Don’t increase the risk of an accident by using improper operator techniques. By understanding and remembering important forklift safety rules, you can make your workplace a safer place.

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