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Forklift Safety

  1. Qualified Operators Only –
    • Only those employees who have been trained, authorized and licensed should operate materials handling equipment.
  2. Wear Appropriate Clothing –
    • Operators should be appropriately dressed - the correct safety equipment, including hi-visibility jacket, safety shoes and hard-hats (where appropriate) should always be worn. 
    • Remember loose clothing can become caught on the truck or may interfere with controls.
  3. Equipment Inspection –
    • Materials handling equipment should always be thoroughly inspected and daily checks made before starting work with the shift supervisor being informed if any problems are identified. 
    • Equipment which requires repair should never be operated and repairs and maintenance only carried out by qualified technicians.
  4. Start Your Day Right –
    • Never operate materials handling equipment with wet or greasy hands or shoes as they could slide off the controls and cause an accident.
    • Always use the steps and hand grabs provided to get on and off the equipment. (3point contact)
    • Before commencing work ensure that a comfortable operating position is found and all controls are within easy reach. The armrest, seat position and mirrors should be correctly adjusted and the safety belt should always be fastened. 
    • Never operate a lift truck unless you are in the operator's seat and keep arms, legs and head inside the confines of the truck at all times. 
  5. Hazard Avoidance –
    • Avoid bumps, holes, loose materials and use extra caution when the floor is slippery. 
    • Do not drive over objects such as pieces of wood scattered on the ground as doing this could cause the load to move or control of equipment could be lost. 
    • Reduce the speed of equipment and use the horn when in the proximity of corners, exits, entrances, stairways, doors, pedestrian walkways and in the vicinity of other employees.
  6. Load Stability –
    • Handle loads carefully and check them closely for stability and balance before raising, lowering or moving off. Falling loads can cause injury and damage.
    • Travel with the load tilted back and the forks as low as possible as this will increase the stability of the equipment being operated. 
    • Never travel with the forks raised high above the floor or turn with the forks in an elevated position or tilted forward. 
    • Look out for overhead obstructions when lifting, lowering or stacking loads. 
    • Be alert to the possibility of falling loads when stacking.
  7. Maintain Good Visibility –
    • Carrying a load close to the floor provides good forward visibility. 
    • Operate equipment in reverse when the load restricts visibility, except when moving up ramps. 
    • Ensure that there is a good view of the rack or the top of a stack when positioning a load. 
    • When reversing ensure the forks are tilted back completely and confirm that the load is safely secured before moving off. 
    • If visibility remains obstructed always stop and confirm it is safe to proceed.
  8. Correct Equipment Use –
    • Do not let other people ride on the equipment unless a second seat is fitted. Fork lift trucks for example are designed to carry loads, not people.
    • Do not use forklift trucks to lift people. If a person has to be lifted, use only a securely attached work platform and cage and follow the appropriate operating instructions.
  9. Refueling –
    • Equipment should only be recharged or refuelled at specially designated locations.
    • Always switch off equipment while being recharged or refuelled. 
    • Refueling of engine powered trucks should take place in a well-ventilated, spark and flame free area.
  10. End of Shift –
    • Always park equipment in the designated or authorized area.
    • Fully lower forks to the floor and apply the park brake. 
    • Turn the equipment "off" and remove the key. 

 

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