Forklift operators must take appropriate precautions. Otherwise, they are susceptible to forklift safety mistakes that lead to accidents and injuries.

At least 79 work-related deaths occurred due to forklifts in 2019, according to research. Also, more than 8,100 nonfatal injuries involving days away from work took place during the time frame.

Forklift accidents and injuries can be prevented. Those who know the ins and outs of forklift safety are well-equipped to guard against such issues.

How to Safely Operate a Forklift

Here are eight safety tips every forklift operator needs to know.

1. Complete Forklift Certification Training

Enroll in a forklift certification training program. That way, you can learn how to properly operate and maintain a lift. You can also receive insights into common forklift safety hazards and how to avoid them.

2. Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Wear a high-visibility vest, hard hat, and other PPE any time you use a forklift. Your employer should provide you with PPE. If any protective equipment appears worn-out or damaged, notify your manager and ensure it is replaced.

3. Conduct a Daily Forklift Inspection

Inspect your forklift before each work shift. This allows you to assess the lift’s condition and ensure the machine is working as expected. If you identify any issues during your inspection, take the lift out of use. And, do not use this lift until it is repaired.

4. Maintain Clear Visibility

Keep your lift’s forks low to the ground. In doing so, you can maintain clear forward visibility. Also, if your load hampers your ability to see when you back up your lift, reposition the load accordingly. Remember, you always need a clear line of sight around your lift. If there are any obstacles that hamper your visibility, address them right away.

5. Know Your Lift’s Capacity

Verify your forklift’s weight capacity. Do not exceed this figure; if you do, your lift could tip over.

6. Keep Your Load Stable and Secure

Check the balance of your lift’s load. In addition, travel with the load tilted backward and keep the forks low to keep the load stable. If necessary, use ropes or bindings to secure stacks or heavy loads, too.

7. Move Slowly and Carefully

Resist the urge to drive fast in a forklift. Instead, travel slowly and follow any designated speed limits. It is generally a good idea to proceed with caution any time you stop, turn, or change direction in your lift as well.

8. Stay a Safe Distance Away from Workers, Bystanders, and Machinery

Do not operate a forklift in close proximity to workers, bystanders, and machinery. Keep a safe distance; this ensures if you inadvertently lose control of your lift, you can reduce the risk of an accident.

Want to Pursue Forklift Operator Jobs? HCR Personnel Solutions Can Help

The aforementioned tips can help you safely operate a forklift. They can also put you in a great position to land a forklift operator job.

If you’re interested in landing a forklift operator role, HCR can offer assistance. We help job seekers pursue forklift operator jobs with top companies in the Greater Toronto Area and Southwestern Ontario. For more information, please contact us today.

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