A forklift operator is very useful for safe forklift operations in any warehouse. In fact, OSHA has different recommendations of who is a good fit for forklift operations. One of these recommendations is a requirement that they are certified for forklift operation. However, in the course of normal operations, even the most qualified operators usually make smalls mistakes that can prove risky when it comes to preserving safety. In today's "Safety Wednesday" article we look at some Don'ts for forklift operators.
Walking Under Elevated Forks
As an operator, you should be very firm in calling out any safety violations during operations. One of them is when other warehouse workers are tempted to walk below loaded elevated forks to get to another point. This is very dangerous as they might end up getting crashed should the loaded forks give in while they are right below them. So do not allow this even in instances where the forklift is not loaded.
Blocking Safety Exists
Every forklift operator needs to be aware of the design of the space in which they are operating. This will ensure that during operation they do not block the safe passages like fire exits or stairways. It will also ensure that they are fully alert and prepared for any incidences and accidents that require their quick response.
Unauthorized Forklift Operation
The forklift is one complicated machine to operate and that is why every forklift operator is required to go for training. Therefore as a forklift operator aware of everything that could go wrong when a forklift is in the wrong hands always make sure you do allow unauthorized use of the forklift by curious individuals who are not certified. You should also not carry any passengers with you during your normal day to day operations.
Underestimating Overhead Clearance
While you are operating the forklift always ensure that you have adequate overhead clearance before you elevate any load. Failure do this usually leads to both damage to the load being handled and risk of injury to the operator and other workers.
Ignoring Warehouse Pedestrians
Since forklifts are usually operated in very busy environments that have other people performing other tasks you should be mindful of their movements. Avoid any form of over speeding in the warehouse and always slow down and lower the load when a pedestrian crosses the path of the forklift. Only continue to your destination when it is safe.
Failure to Report Incidents
Every time there is an incident in the warehouse make sure you report it to your supervisor. This applies whether it is any form of collision, minor accident or damage. If your supervisor is informed in good time they will be able to recommend any repairs to keep the forklift in proper working condition or improve on the safety standards within the warehouse. This is a key preventative measure for future operations.
Overloading a Forklift
One of the major causes of accidents is usually an overloaded forklift and this can either be intentional or unintentional. As a forklift operator ensure you understand the load limits of the forklift you are operating and know how to accurately access the weight of the load you are about to carry. You should also avoid using a forklift that does not have any capacity rating information.
As a forklift operator, what is one of your favorite safety tips when it comes to forklift operation?
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