Even though forklifts are designed to work on diverse surfaces, there are three common surfaces that you should approach with precaution while you are operating a forklift. They are the slippery surfaces, uneven surfaces, and weak surfaces. Allow me to take you through each of them, their dangers and the potential safety measures that you can take.
It is not uncommon that some areas in the warehouse might get slippery due to the spillage of water or oil. Sometimes it's the snow on the surface when you are operating outdoors. When the surface gets slippery then there is no doubt that the risk of injuries or accidents is high.
As an accident prevention measure, you can avoid the slippery surface or cover it with an absorbent material. If you are not in a position to do that then you should cross the area at very low speeds. When you are dealing with a case of oil or water spillage then you can just clean the area affected before proceeding.
The ideal surface for a forklift to travel over is an even surface but uneven surfaces are a common problem due to holes or obstacles like bumps on the surface. Such surfaces normally put you at the risk of tip-overs which are a major cause of accidents during forklift operation. One of the ways you can prevent accidents due to such surfaces is through clearing the pathways the forklifts travel of any obstacles.
In case of speed bumps always try to maneuver across them at a 45 degrees angle. You should also avoid driving into holes. It is also prudent that as a forklift operator you survey the area you are to operate a forklift to identify possible problems beforehand for adequate planning against potential risks.
It is possible that a forklift operator can crush the floor they are driving over if they exceed the floor’s weight limits. If you are posted to work in a warehouse you are not familiar with, make sure you check for the specified floor loading limits.
You should also survey the floor and check for any weakened areas that are hazardous to the operations you are about to undertake. In case you identify any risky areas make sure you inform the supervisor immediately. For your personal safety always ensure you do not travel over surfaces where you exceed the specified floor loading limits.
Therefore even though forklifts are normally designed to be able to perform optimally in different kinds of surfaces there are some surfaces that are still risky. For example, slippery surfaces can make your forklift slide out of control leading to serious accidents. Other potentially hazardous surfaces are uneven surfaces that can cause your forklift to tip over. You should also be wary of weak surfaces that can handle weight beyond a certain limit.
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