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Forklifts are very complex machines that have become of vital importance for factories, warehouses, stores and all kinds of businesses due to the amount of labour, effort and above all, money, that can be saved when using them right. Taking into account the number of forklifts being used on daily activities of any type of business is increasing, measures to assure a safe use of these is also very important.
Safety is a term that is left aside when it comes to the use of forklifts. As it can be taken as a simple vehicle that can be operated by anyone people underestimate the capability of a forklift and how chaotic it can be when it is in the wrong hands. The truth is that a poor sense of safety while operating a forklift can cause many problems such as:
• The operator can end up harming himself. Depending on the type of material that is manipulated in the store/factory/warehouse or business, it may range from a small bruise or a scratch to a real tragedy.
• If the operator does not control the vehicle well, he may cause damages to your facility that will cost a lot of money. Not to say the damage that the forklift may receive in an accident.
• As he may harm himself while operating the machine improperly, he can also harm his co-workers, supervisors, customers and even you.
For the aforementioned reasons and the wide range of significant expenses these problems will end up causing, the smartest move any business owner could make is spending on a professional registered training organisation that provides training courses for operators to be able to use forklifts in limited spaces, heights and other types of conditions where safety is a number one priority.
What make us differ from other training organisations is that we offer the best prices you will find in the market, if you find lower prices than the ones offered here at Universal Skills, contact us and we will beat them.
Nevertheless, having a qualified operator for the task of operating your forklift is not the only thing that should be taken into account in order to ensure safety at your workplace. Operating forklifts should only be done by individuals who have been trained properly and contain a licence to operate the equipment.
These are some tips to help keep the safety level at your workplace up to a high level and avoid unfortunate events before is too late.
Examining equipment before using it
Most accidents related to forklifts occurred because there is not a proper checking process of equipment before using it. For his reason it vitally important that operators do a routine check to all their equipment before driving them. Brakes, controls, mast and tyres should be checked because they may be faulty. In case there are any types of visible damages or it has been noted that the unit is not working properly then that forklift should not be operated and needs to be repaired as soon as possible.
Wearing appropriate clothing for operating a forklift
Highly visible jackets, a hard hat and safety shoes are some of the safety work wear operators should be demanded to wear when operating a forklift. Work wear worn by operators must be reasonable fitted because if clothing is too loose it can get caught on some parts of machinery.
Gloves can also be useful when operating a forklift since oil and grease can get controls slippery and that may be very dangerous when operating a working vehicle.
Considering the surrounding environment
As it happens when driving any other kind of vehicle, forklifts need to be driven while paying careful attention to all the surrounding environment and the operator should follow any guidelines specified by the work place. The operator should only drive the forklift in the machinery’s designated roadways.
All signs should be taken into account, especially the maximum permitted floor loadings because it can cause very horrible accident. Height of the load is also very important when entering or exiting buildings.
Be careful when operating a forklift near the edge of a loading dock or ramp – the forklift can fall over the edge – keep a safe distance from the edge.
Keep operating at safe speed
Forklifts should be slowed down when taking corners, operators should not proceed past the speed limit and any changes in direction should be taken slowly and be stopped gradually.
Forklifts should not be used to carry something that is not a load
Operators should never let other people ride on the equipment unless there is another seat safely set in order to have a co-pilot. If a person needs to be lifted there are other equipment especially designed for that purpose.
Ensure your load is stable and secure
In order to ensure the load is positioned properly, it should be tilted back with the forks sitting low whilst transporting in order to increase truck stability. Operators need to check the loads carefully.
Operators should not move loads they do not feel stable and safe. Loads should be stacked up and positioned across both forks symmetrically. Using securing methods such as ropes, bindings and straps is a requirement in order to keep loads fixed.
Ensuring the Load is evenly distributed and not over-loaded
Operators should never drive a forklift with damaged or deformed pallets that make it impossible to hold loads properly. Use pallets and skids that can withstand the weight of the load.
Operators need to have clear visibility
During the entire journey, operators have to be able to see the racking clearly and ensure it is in the same position when it started. If it can help increase visibility, operators should be able to operate the forklift in reverse.
In case the operator is not able to see the road and the load properly he has to stop driving and look for a helper that can assist him.
Here at Universal Skills you will find a reliable team of professionals with trainers nearly all capital cities in Australia. Do not hesitate to contact us for an unbeatable price.