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How can you stay safe while operating a forklift?

On Behalf of | May 18, 2021 | Workers' Compensation

Over the decades, significant effort has gone into making forklifts safer. Though there has been a lot of progress, forklifts still represent one of the most dangerous hazards that you may face when working in a warehouse.

According to EHS Today, learning and observing proper procedures is essential to staying safe when operating a forklift. You should have received training on these from your employer, but here is a review of some of the most important safety tips.

Wear a seatbelt

Whenever you operate a sit-down forklift, be sure to fasten your seatbelt. Without your seatbelt, the likelihood of the roll cage or overhead guard crushing you increases.

Observe the speed limit

To minimize the risk of tipping, be sure that you operate the forklift at a safe speed, especially when turning or taking corners. If there are other forklift operators or pedestrians nearby, use your horn to alert them to your presence.

Perform routine checks

Before operating a forklift, you should always perform a routine check of the equipment to be sure that it is in proper working order. If you notice damage to the forklift or other problems, notify management right away.

Park the vehicle safely

When you have finished using the forklift, park it safely to prevent any unintended movement. Lower the forks, set the parking brake and set any controls to neutral. It might be a good idea to secure the machine further with wheel blocks, especially if it is on an incline.

You should also be careful to observe proper safety procedures when working around forklifts but not operating. For example, wear high-visibility clothing and other personal protective equipment that your employer provides.

Your employer should provide you with appropriate training and equipment to stay safe on the job. Getting properly licensed for operating a forklift and similar machinery helps you to stay safer and avoid serious injury while working.