6 safety tips for new forklift operators

When it comes to operating a forklift, or any heavy machinery, the most important factor to be considered is the safety of the driver and all of those in the surrounding area. Not only can a forklift accident be emotionally and physically traumatic, but it can also be monetarily traumatic. Even if no one is severely injured when a forklift accident occurs, damage to the materials, the forklift, and potential lawsuits can be detrimental to your business.

When you are a new forklift operator, you should make sure that you are well prepared before getting into the driver’s seat. Safety should always come first, and you should always do everything in your power to make sure you and your fellow employees stay out of dangerous or hazardous situations. The good news is that there are ways to operate and preventative measures to take in order to confidently ensure that you don’t incur any forklift-related accidents on your property. So, let’s talk a little bit about forklift safety in Dallas.

#1 Make sure you are qualified, properly trained, and comfortable

Before getting behind the levers of a forklift, you need to be properly trained, qualified, and licensed to operate it. Not only should you be qualified on paper, but you should make sure that you feel entirely comfortable before operating such heavy machinery.

#2 Inspect your forklift daily

Make sure to inspect your forklift on a daily basis. This will help prevent accidents as you will be more likely to catch hazardous parts, etc., before hopping on to begin your shift.

#3 Be aware of your operating environment

You need to be very aware of your surroundings when you are operating a forklift. Make sure to keep an eye out for pedestrians at all times and ensure that they have the right of way. Always be aware of narrow aisles and sharp corners and make sure that your machine can handle them. Don’t forget about the weather if you are operating your forklift outside. Make sure you are fully prepared to work on your forklift in wet or cold conditions.

#4 Follow your company’s safety rules and regulations

This may sound cliché, but the rules are truly there for a reason, so make sure you are familiar with them and make sure that you follow them. Even though you may not entirely understand the reasoning behind certain regulations, there is likely a plausible explanation that just isn’t obvious to you, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t follow it. Embrace that you may be naïve to certain situations that can and have occurred before when a forklift is in use.

#5 Respect the forklift’s capacity

You should be aware of the load capacity of the forklift you are operating beforehand. It is likely displayed on the rating plate, locate this and be familiar with it to avoid overloading the truck. Never use counterweights to attempt increasing the load capacity.

#6 Maintain clear visibility

Make sure that there are not any obstructions in your line of sight. Whether it be an obstruction on the windshield or an obstruction via the location/level of the load, never take a chance. Keep the load carried low to the ground. If it is inevitable for restriction of visibility, the forklift should be driven very slowly in reverse (unless of course, you are going up a ramp.)

If you are looking for a trusted and reliable Dallas forklift company, here at Ace Equipment, we’ve got you covered. Our knowledgeable and caring team will be happy to help you with any question that you may have about forklifts, including forklift safety. Contact us today and let us help pick out the perfect forklift for you.