Importance of the Forklift Pre-Start Checklist System

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It is a short process that will only take a few minutes, a few important minutes that could prevent serious injury and even death. The importance of the forklift pre-start checklist system is undeniable; it helps ensure your safety and the safety of those around you.

A pre-start safety check should be conducted at the beginning of each shift and every time an operator uses a different forklift. Operators should never assume that the forklift has been left in a safe condition by the previous operator.

According to Safe Work Australia pre-start safety checks or procedures should include the following:

·         Lift and tilt systems including the correct operation of attachments such as clamps, hydraulics lines (for oil leaks), chains, cables and limits.

·         Steering, brakes (including park brakes), controls and lights.

·         Each tyre for wear, damage, and inflation (pneumatic types)

·         Guarding is in place and functional, for example, around the battery compartment or fuel lines.

·         All warning devices are operational.

·         Fork arms and attachments (for deformation, damage or wear)

·         Liquid levels, for example, hydraulic oil, brake fluid and water.

·         Gas cylinder, where relevant, and its securing system.

·         Check the condition and adjustment of the seat and seat belts to ensure they work reliably.

·         Load capacity data plate is fitted, legible and correct.

·         Mast: check for signs of wear, damage, cracks or repairs.

If any defects are identified, complete the operational checklist with details and follow organisational policies and procedures for tagging out of equipment and reporting. The forklift pre-start checklist should only be conducted by operators who are trained to do so, while any maintenance and repairs must be done by persons who are competent and authorised to do so.

Aside from reducing the risk of injury to the operator and other employees, the pre-start inspection will also improve the condition of the forklift, increase productivity, and reduce downtime and maintenance costs.

MLA has an excellent reputation for keeping the forklifts they provide operating at peak performance. MLA’s trained technicians can respond to any defects identified in the pre-start checklist inspection almost immediately.

MLA’s new FleetControl system provides an automated pre-start checklist for authorised operators, reducing the cost of compliance. For more information, please contact MLA on 131 652 or www.mlaholdings.com.au. Information for this article was sourced from Safe Work Australia and the Nationwide Training Forklift Operation Manual.

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Protect Forklift Operators from Heat Stress

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With another scorching Australian summer upon us, it’s extremely important that employers and employees are aware of the dangers of heat stress.

Workers who are exposed to extreme heat or work in hot environments (both indoor and outdoor) may be at risk of heat stress, and that includes forklift operators, who often perform long shifts in these conditions.

WorkCover NSW defines heat stress and heat illness as “a range of potentially harmful medical conditions that can happen when the body is unable to cope with working in heat.” These include heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat rash, and heat stroke.
Heat stress occurs when the body cannot sufficiently cool itself. Factors that contribute to this include:

  • air temperature

  • humidity (in the environment or workplaces such as laundries and mines)

  • radiant heat (from the sun or other sources such as furnaces and ovens)

  • air movement or wind speed

  • workload (nature of the work and duration)

  • physical fitness of the worker (including acclimatisation and any pre-existing conditions e.g. overweight, heart/ circulatory diseases, skin diseases or use of certain medicines)

  • clothing (including protective clothing such as overalls)

Signs and symptoms of heat illness include feeling sick, nauseous, dizzy or weak. Clumsiness, collapse and convulsions may also be experienced as a result of heat illness. Some of the measures suggested by WorkCover NSW to minimise the danger of heat stress include:

  • rescheduling work so the hot tasks are performed during the cooler part of the day

  • wearing light clothing that still provides adequate protection

  • arranging for more workers to do the job

  • providing extra rest breaks in a cool area

  • using mechanical aids to reduce physical exertion

  • providing personal protective equipment (PPE)

  • providing for frequent short water breaks at regular intervals during the shift e.g. a cup of water every 15–20 minutes

  • providing workers with information, instruction and training on recognising heat-related illness

MLA Holdings can provide further protection from heat stress for forklift operators. Many of Mitsubishi’s forklifts can be supplied with fully enclosed air-conditioned cabins. Mitsubishi also offer the option of having heavy duty dash fans installed on all of its forklifts.

Information for this article was sourced from
www.workcover.nsw.gov.au. For further forklift safety information contact MLA Holdings on 131 652 or www.mlaholdings.com.au.

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Protect Forklift Operators from Heat Stress

Simple useful tips for operating a forklift safely

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A forklift can cause injury to workers and damage to equipment if it is not operated properly. The importance of continuously increase awareness on forklift safety to avoid incidents and injuries at the workplace cannot be understated.

Below are some tips for safe forklift operation.

 

  1. Operators must be qualified.

    • Forklifts must be operated only by people who have been trained to do so and have a current license to operate the equipment.
  2. Always wear appropriate work wear and safety equipment provided.

    • Operators should wear the appropriate safety work wear; e.g. safety shoes, hi-visibility jackets and a hard hat.
    • Ensure that work wear is reasonably fitted to avoid getting caught on machinery.
  3. Routine checks must be carried out regularly.

    • Operators should conduct a routine check of equipment prior to operating a forklift. Key things to check are any faults with steering, brakes, controls, mast, tyres and warning devices.
    • If there are any problems or damage management should be notified and the forklift should not be operated until the faults are repaired.
  4. Operate at a safe speed.

    • Ensure operators drive the speed limit in work areas.
    • To minimise the risk of tipping, ensure that operators take corners slowly.
  5. Consider your surrounding environment.

    • Operators must only drive in designated forklift areas.
    • Operators must follow all work site rules and be observant to all signs, especially clearance heights and maximum permitted floor loadings.
    • Be careful when operating a forklift near the edge of a ramp or loading dock as the forklift can fall over the edge.
  6. Forklifts are for carrying loads only.

    • Operators must not let passengers ride on the equipment unless a designated seat is fitted safely to the forklift for the second person.
    • If a person must be lifted, use only a securely attached authorised work platform and follow the appropriate operating instructions.
  7. Ensure your load is stacked, stable and secure.

    • Do not lift or move loads that are not safe or stable.
    • To increase truck stability, ensure that the load is tilted back with the forks low whilst transporting.
  8. Make sure you have clear visibility.

    • Face the load uphill and travel in reverse when moving downhill.
  9. Do not over load your forklift.

    • It is important to know the capacity of your forklift and ensure that capacity is not exceeded.
  10. Ensure even distribution of the load.

    • Do not move or lift a load unless both forks are safely under the load.

 

Information for this article was sourced from www.laboursolutions.com.au. For further forklift safety information contact MLA Holdings on 131 652 or www.mlaholdings.com.au.

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Forklift Safety: Don't Blame the Driver

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How facility operators can create a safer environment for forklifts, pedestrians, and drivers.

Environmental Factors are often ignored: One percent of factory accidents involve forklift trucks, but forklift accidents produce ten percent of the physical injuries. That’s an astonishing ratio, but not all that surprising given
the nature of forklifts and the way they are utilized. Forklifts are dense, heavy-mass vehicles. When they collide with something – or someone – the results are devastating, even at low speeds.

Some leading types of lift truck accidents are:

  • Workers struck by forklifts
  • Loads are dropped onto employees
  • Driver catches his body between the forklift and other objects
  • The forklift is driven off the loading dock

Kind of a terrifying list, don’t you think?

Most forklift accidents are blamed on operator error, but that is just partially true – and something of a cop-out. Rough estimates say that a quarter of forklift accidents could be avoided by addressing environmental concerns. When you eliminate those, it helps you understand better when a driver is truly ineffective, or just hamstrung by the way your warehouse is set up. In other words, before you point the finger at the driver, take a look at your operation…

Here are some environmental factors that you can address to help reduce forklift accidents:

  • Poor facility lighting: The acceptable level for general warehouse operations where large items are handled require only 10 to 20 horizontal foot-candles. Improved lighting can have a dramatic, positive impact on productivity in general, but safety in specific.
  • Plant is too noisy: If your facility is too loud, not only does it mask the sound of an approaching forklift or of a pedestrian who has stopped to talk or pick items from racks, it can also degrade hearing over time. Utilize noise reducing equipment when possible.
  • Pedestrians aren’t protected by design: Create and enforce pedestrian crossing aisles and protective islands. When forklifts appear in unexpected places, the potential for accidents is multiplied. Traffic flow rules should be clear, visible, and routinely reinforced.
  • Are speed limits posted and enforced? Often, the pressure of production pushes forklift speeds up. Safety experts recommend the suggested level for pedestrian areas is no more than 5 kilometres per hour.
  • Dangerous driving surfaces: Poor ground surface can contribute to forklift accidents by making the vehicle less manoeuvrable and less stable. It’s easier to drop the load when the driving surface is inadequate.
  • Are your aisles adequate? It is vital that aisles are adequately wide for the lift truck to operate. It’s doubly important if those same aisles are often walked by pedestrians. A driver who is trying not to hit racks, or who has to put his lift truck into tight spots, is one who is paying less attention to the people around him.

Information for this article was sourced from www.cisco-eagle.com. For further forklift safety information contact MLA Holdings on 131 652 or www.mlaholdings.com.au.

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Fleet Safety Tips: Best Practices For Forklift Use

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Fleet safety – for all asset types – is something every organization strives to improve. Safe use of material handling equipment allows for a more productive working environment. Below are some tips to help you spread the word on
material handling equipment safety:

1. Ensure proper training: Each operator should be well-trained and qualified to operate the equipment.

2. Complete a thorough inspection: Conduct a pre-shift inspection of the forklift, including brakes, steering, warning devices, safety devices, mast, tyres and controls. Note any issues and do not use damaged equipment until it is fixed or repaired.

3. Carry loads correctly: Loads should be secure and appropriately sized for the equipment in use. When carrying a load, be sure to go forward up ramps and in reverse down ramps. Lower the load to travel height and carry it with a slight back tilt while in motion. Only raise and lower loads while the forklift is not in motion.

4. Travel at a safe speed: Travel at a safe speed for the workplace environment. The forklift should maintain a safe distance away from people and other moving or stationary equipment.

5. Remove the key: When not in use or unattended, turn off the forklift and remove the key from the ignition, to prevent unauthorised operation of the forklift.

6. Implementing a Fleet Management System: Mobile device management allows a business to connect their technology hardware with the business’ back-end systems to enhance the visibility and information managers have
to hand when making decisions.

MLA have developed MLA FleetControl, a Fleet Management System to provide businesses with the ability to effectively manage their fleet remotely. MLA FleetControl uses intuitive technology to link your business with your
material handling equipment, optimising the performance of operators and forklift fleets and is the most advanced and functional forklift fleet management technology available. MLA FleetControl focuses on improving safety and
compliance while increasing productivity and reducing costs associated with managing any size forklift fleet.

Safe forklift operation is encouraged by the prevention of untrained or unauthorised staff operating equipment. Operator compliance is made easy with automated operator pre-start checklists which identify any maintenance
issues before equipment is used.

By following these tips and implementing a Fleet Management System such as MLA FleetControl you will be able to set a foundation of safety for the use of material handling equipment in your work environment.

Information for this article was sourced from www.fleetmanagementweekly.com. For further forklift safety information and MLA FleetControl contact MLA Holdings on 131 652 or www.mlaholdings.com.au.

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High Risk Work: Forklift work platforms

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Objective
To provide guidance on safely using forklift work platforms to elevate workers via the lifting ability of a forklift or similar industrial truck.

Background

Unsafe and/or inadequate systems of work – such as standing on forklift tynes or pallets, or in an unsuitable stillage – and the improper use of work platforms are common causes of serious incidents.
Forklift work platforms should be used to elevate workers to perform short duration tasks where it is not practical to use scaffolding, elevating work platforms or similar devices.

Australian Standard AS 2359.1: Powered industrial trucks – General requirements provides a minimum standard to which work platforms should be constructed.

Risk control measures

Safe work procedures should be developed for tasks involving the use of forklift work platforms. Forklift operators must:

  • be properly trained and hold a high-risk work licence
  • conduct pre-operational checks before lifting any person in a work platform, including ensuring the work platform is securely attached to the forklift
  • ensure the vehicle is parked while workers are on the platform
  • remain at the forklift controls at all times, keeping hands and feet clear of controls other than to lift or lower when required
  • ensure all parts of the forklift are clear of overhead obstructions, especially powerlines and overhead electrical cables
  • limit the number of workers on the platform to the manufacturer’s or competent person’s instruction
  • erect barriers and signs in areas subject to passing traffic and ensure nobody stands or passes under the forklift tynes or platform (whether loaded or empty), unless they are a competent person conducting maintenance

The forklift must:

  • be parked on a hard level surface, with the handbrake on
  • have all controls, other than lift and lower, immobilised
  • have the mast vertical and tynes horizontal
  • (if hydraulic) be fitted with a flow restrictor to limit the lowering speed in the event of hydraulic failure

Information for this article was sourced from www.safework.sa.gov.au. For further forklift safety information contact MLA Holdings on 131 652 or www.mlaholdings.com.au.

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