Forklift Safety


 june 2010july 20

A forklift can be one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment in the workplace. Injuries occur when operating forklifts and when employees are interacting with them. About one quarter of forklift injuries are from getting on and off the forklift! Employers have safe work procedures, which employees must follow! These tips may protect your own and others’ safety.


 

 

june 2010

A forklift can be one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment in the workplace.  Injuries occur when operating forklifts and when employees are interacting with them. About one quarter of forklift injuries are from getting on and off the forklift! Employers have safe work procedures, which employees must follow! These tips may protect your own and others’ safety.

Training and Supervision: A person who operates a forklift must hold a high-risk work forklift licence.

Traffic Management 

  • Most forklift incidents involve pedestrians
  • Make sure there are clear, separate pathways for pedestrians and forklifts
  • High visibility work wear should be worn if walking outside of designated walkways 
  • Businesses should minimise blind spots and highlight intersections and restricted areas
  • If there is a right-of-way, make sure that everyone is aware of it
  • Be aware of other vehicles and people and give clear indications of your intentions to others
  • Look in the direction of travel and keep a clear view of the way ahead

Pre-start Safety Check: Before you operate a forklift, both the forklift and any attachments should be checked. Completing pre-start checks are mandatory and should be done at the beginning of each shift and every time you begin operating a different forklift

Forklift Safety Devices

  • Seatbelts and other restraint systems should be used
  • Sounding the horn when entering and exiting areas
  • All lighting is working – front, brake and flashing warning lights
  • Perimeter lighting – Pre warning for pedestrians

Operating a Forklift

  • Lower the fork arms to ground level; ensure the parking brake is set, and the controls are in neutral when leaving the forklift
  • Maintain three points of contact (hands and feet) when you get on and off
  • Only use the forklift for its intended purpose only
  • Obey speed limits and warning signs. Drive at speeds suitable to the road surfaces and traffic conditions
  • Wear safety glasses or goggles and work/ park in well-lit areas
  • Be aware of fumes and possible carbon monoxide poisoning when operating LPG-powered forklifts indoors
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when slinging a load under the forks and using lifting straps
  • Avoid distracting behaviour - No mobile phone use or eating when operating a forklift

What can cause a forklift to tip over?

  • Excessive speed – especially while turning
  • Heavy braking
  • Overload or moving with elevated mast and load
  • Traveling down ramps with load forward and turning sideways on ramps
  • Smooth, slippery, and sloping surfaces
  • Forks striking and obstruction
  • Tight turns
  • Shifting or off-centre loads

MLA Holdings Pty Ltd can provide you with expert advice on forklift safety, as well as providing safety devices to enhance your forklift safety. Contact us today. Information from this article was sourced from www.kellyservices.com.au.

Download pdf here.