Used to lift and move heavy materials with deft and precision, forklifts are a vital piece of equipment in a number of industries. However, when it comes to forklift operations there are a number of responsibilities to consider, and safety should always be a priority.
While Australia is a country that has steadily reduced the number of forklift accidents, they are still a major cause of serious injury and fatal accidents every year. More so, a large portion of these accidents is the result of inadequate training. This is why education is critical to the safety of any worker in a forklift injury.
Avoiding Bad Habits
The best way to ensure forklift safety in the workplace is to promote, encourage and support a safety-first mindset. Here are the do’s and don’ts of forklift safety:
- Do assess the work space and ensure the path is free of obstructions.
- Do look in the direction of travel
- Do travel with the forks lowered, but off the ground
- Do exit a forklift truck facing the interior and using the steps and handles
- Do slow down at corners and entry ways
- Don’t operate a forklift without training
- Don’t use a damaged or compromised forklift
- Don’t suddenly start or stop
- Don’t make abrupt turns
- Don’t travel on uneven ground
Forklift inspections are crucial and should be conducted each day before operation. Operators are required to conduct visual and operational inspections to check for obstructions, the condition of safety equipment and anything else that could cause safety issues. The breaks, controls, lights and alarms should also be inspected and tested.
Potential accidents can cause thousands of dollars in damages, countless downtime and serious injury. Skipping these inspections not only endangers the operations but nearby co-workers and the surrounding area.
Speeding and Disregarding Spatial Awareness
When operators become too comfortable or want to complete a task quickly, they drive too fast and are less observant of their surroundings. Speeding in a forklift, especially with a cargo load, is dangerous and can cause accidents such as turn-overs. Additionally, disregarding basic safety checks before backing up, or signalling puts both operator, cargo and employees at stake.
Wearing Correct PPE
Forklift operators should be dressed in appropriated PPE, including safety boots, hard hats and high-visibility jackets. This is to ensure that the driver is protected should an accident occur.
Arguably the most important aspect of forklift safety, training and certification has been proven to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries across a variety of industries. Training ensures drivers have the necessary knowledge, training and skills to competently operate a forklift truck.
Here, training teaches workers to be aware of their surroundings, conduct pre-operational inspection, safely load, carry and place materials and understand the load capacity of their trucks.
Forklift Training With HOST Safety and Training
If you’re worried about forklift safety and proper operation, talk to the experts at HOST Safety and Training. Holding years of experience in forklift safety training and education to clients across Brisbane they are the perfect resource for ensuring workers are fully trained, competent and compliant with the latest safety regulations. Book your next course with HOST today!