Forklift operators must prioritize safety — otherwise, they could put themselves and others at risk of accidents, injuries, and fatalities. Fortunately, with the right approach to workplace safety, forklift operators can minimize risk.
Now, let’s look at 10 safety tips that every forklift operator needs to know.
1. Earn Your Certification
Complete a forklift certification training course that teaches you the ins and outs of forklift operation. A typical forklift certification course can be completed in only a few hours, and you may be able to finish the class online. Also, you should renew your forklift certification approximately every three years.
2. Wear Appropriate Clothing
Wear a hard hat, high-visibility jacket, and work boots any time you operate a forklift. Your clothing should always fit well, so it won’t accidentally get caught in the forklift.
3. Assess Your Forklift Before You Use It
Examine the forklift for any brake, steering, and other potential defects that could impact your ability to use the machine safely. If you uncover any forklift issues, do not use the forklift and report these issues to your manager.
4. Start the Forklift Properly
Fasten your seatbelt and ensure that you are safe inside your forklift before you start the machine. You should also verify that no coworkers or other bystanders are near the forklift.
5. Evaluate Your Worksite
Watch for any signs related to clearance heights and floor loadings across your worksite. Additionally, do not use your forklift on bridge plates and proceed with caution any time you approach the edge of a loading dock or ramp.
6. Operate Your Forklift at a Safe Speed
Do not exceed the forklift speed limit for your worksite. You should also travel slowly around corners to limit the risk that your forklift will tip over.
7. Keep an Eye Out for Hazards
Try to avoid bumps or any other uneven surfaces when you use your forklift. You should maintain a safe distance from coworkers, bystanders, and vehicles any time you use your forklift, too.
8. Maintain a Stable, Secure Load
Check your forklift’s load and ensure it remains stable. If you believe the load has become unstable any time you are using a forklift, correct the issue.
9. Ensure You Can See Where You’re Going
Maintain good visibility as you operate a forklift. If weather conditions make it difficult to see where you are going, you should stop using your forklift.
10. Keep Your Forklift in a Designated Area
At the end of your work shift, you should move your forklift to a safe area. You should apply the parking brake, deactivate the forklift, and remove the key. Finally, you should never leave your forklift unattended while it is still running.
Take Your Career to the Next Level
HCR helps forklift operators and other industrial professionals connect with leading businesses in the Greater Toronto Area and Southwestern Ontario. In doing so, we make it simple for industrial professionals to take their careers to new heights. To learn more, please contact us today.