Safety Refresher

There is no better time than on National Forklift Safety Day for a refresher on forklift safety so without further ado here it is:
In this piece, we are going to focus on four main areas where things can go wrong: pedestrians, lifting a load, large sized loads, and noticing signs of problems before they arise.
Pedestrians It is very important for material handling equipment operators to check around corners of aisles and be careful coming through doorways. Being struck by material handling equipment is responsible for a large percentage of industrial workplace injuries. It is important for operators to honk the horn before turning corners and going through doorways. Also installing blue and red warning lights as well as a flashing strobe light on forklifts or equipment helps pedestrians notice equipment in motion. Operators should also travel with and without loads with the forks lowered 2” – 4” off the ground. Pedestrians also need to do their part when walking in an industrial warehouse, sticking to restricted walking areas when applicable, and being vigilant in securing their own safety.
Pre-Shift Checklist Another way to prevent injury is to spot conditions that may lead to a forklift or equipment malfunction before it happens. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), requires that operators perform a pre-shift inspection before they start their shift. Spotting cracked tires or damaged valves and hosing could prevent an injury. Anything noticed should be reported immediately to the shift supervisor. You can watch a video on how to conduct a pre-shift inspection here!
Big Loads and Attachments Larger-sized loads will affect actual capacity causing de-rate due to their increased load center. If you have to lift larger than normal loads, calculate your actual load capacity here! Attachments also do this. Any attachment is required to correspond to an accompanying data plate that states the actual capacity and any de-rate that is caused.
Lifting a LoadOperators should not, under any circumstances have equipment in motion while using the mast to lift or lower. The forklift or equipment should completely stop before raising or lowing the forks with or without a load. Moving with an elevated mast could cause the forklift or equipment to tip-over, or the load to fall.