Forklifts are often shown in the movies or on TV as fun toys that we can race around the warehouse without consequence.
But, we all know these depictions are far from reality.
In fact, forklifts are extremely dangerous and countless modernized warehouses have begun to elimnate them from their business due to the high volume of risk and increased automation options.
Check out these 5 crucial forklift safety tips that you NEED to know now:
1. Inspect Equipment Daily
One of the most common forklift safety mistakes we see is the failure to thuroughly inspect machinery often.
Wether it's laziness, lack of effort, or a time crunch, there is no good excuse to putting yourself and others in danger by operating potentially defective machinery.
Daily inspections should be performed before starting the use of your forklifts.
Daily inspections will allow you to keep equipment lasting years longer, allows you to diagnose potential issues before they cause potentially thousands in part replacements, and lastly, to avoid driving faulty machinery that could result in serious injury or death.
Save yourself potentially thousands of dollars in repairs and injury costs by giving your forklifts an inspection everyday.
2. It's Not a Ferrari
The sooner you realize your forklift is not a supercar, the safer you'll be.
Look, I get it, who doesn't love flying around on a small cart? Heck, we all hang off the back and sides once in a while.
But, this is one of the leading causes of forklift accidents in the warehousing industry -- reckless driving and a careless attitude.
In fact, OSHA's latest warehouse publication found that 100 employees a year are killed in forklift accidents, and 95,000 a year are injured.
Forklifts may seem like a fun toy, but they are dangerous, intense machinery.
Always drive at the reccomended 5MPH speed limit, and thank us later for saving yourself from a fatal accident or business sinking fine from OSHA.
Fun fact: it takes 22 feet for a forklift to come to a full stop when going 10MPH. (So, slow down!)
For even more forklift info, check out our infographic on warehouse safety tips and learn how to avoid a $100,000 fine.
3. Equipment Capacity
This is one of the most important forklift safety tips you can and should follow without exception.
It's also one of the most frequently abused rules of forklifts.
More often than not, we all want to save time, increase efficiency, and deliver goods faster, right?
Right. But, that doesn't mean overloading the forklift or attatchment with an extra 500lbs over the limit to save time.
You risk serious injury or death when doing so -- it's not worth it.
Never use the fork tips as a lever to raise heavy loads, and never overpack the reccomended load, as you potentially could lift the rear wheels and flip your ride.
Skip the injuries and avoid a $100,000 fine.
4. Avoiding Hazards
Depending on your warehouse operations, you might have multiple forklifts crusing the floor at once.
You probably also have an abundance of racks, mezzanines, ramps and docks scattered all around you.
In the fast paced warehousing environment of modern day warehosues, everybody is always moving at full speed.
Placing proper signage of hazards and desiging clear lanes of passage will seriously minimze your risk for accidents.
Train your forklift operators to always keep a safe operating distance from other workers and hazards.
5. Finish Strong
Closing time...every new begining...
Alright, enough with that. But seriously, we all see the clock about to tick at the end of the day signaling us to go home.
Don't let that urge to sprint to your vehicle and speed home to your family takeaway from the important step of ending the day right to preserve your forklifts and ensure safe closing.
When the shift ends, forklift operators should always park the lift in their designated spots, refueled and ready for the next shift.
Make sure your forks are lowered fully and the parking brake is on. Turn off the engine and store the key properly.
If you notice anything wrong, SAY SOMETHING.
Always record irregularities in your equipment at the end of the day, staying one step ahead of part failure or serious accidents.
Implement Forklift Safety Tips
Now that you've got a few more tips under your belt, adjust the process by which you manage your forklifts and equipment.
If you're not implementing daily inspections and proper storage, do it now.
Stop wasting time or putting it off -- these are potentially life saving steps that you need to take.
Focus on creating an environment that values inspections, safety, and training without compromising efficiency by implementing these actionable forklift safety tips now.