Tips to Safely Operate a Forklift

Correctly Operating a Forklift can Save You and Your Business

A forklift is heavy pieces of machinery that are extremely helpful when it comes to moving heavy loads. While they can be useful, they can be very difficult to maneuver for those who have little to no experience with them. If a driver does not safely operate the vehicle, thousands of dollars of products could be destroyed, and severe injuries can be sustained.

Because of the high level of potential danger a faulty or misused forklift can create, it is incredibly important to correctly drive it. Here are a few tips that can help you safely operate a forklift.

Have Qualified Drivers

Forklifts are extremely powerful pieces of equipment that can cause real damage if used incorrectly. It is important to make sure that any individual tasked with driving one has been properly trained and possesses a license that qualifies them to operate it. If not, you are putting your workplace and everyone in it at risk.

Ensure Appropriate Clothing is Worn

A less known tip that can help prevent disaster from occurring is having drivers wear the proper clothing while operating a forklift. It is important for these individuals to wear form-fitting clothing, preventing them from getting caught in the machinery. Along with their tight clothes, operators should also be wearing the necessary safety gear, including hard hats, safety boots, and a high-visibility vest.

Examine the Equipment

Prior to driving a forklift, an operator must do a thorough routine inspection of the equipment. There are important Forklift parts that must be checked for breaks, wear and tear, cracks, and other warning signs. You want your equipment to be in great shape to ensure that it functions correctly. If any damages or issues are found during an inspection, the forklift should not be used.

Stay Alert

Before operating your forklift, make sure to examine the workspace in which you will be maneuvering around. You want to ensure that there are no objects that could get in your way and cause an accident. While you are driving, you want to always remain alert to your environment. This will allow you to notice any hazards that appear as well as other employees in the area.

Secure Your Load

Once you have loaded up your forklift, you want to make sure that the load in safely and securely held. This means making sure that the weight is evenly distributed, correctly stacked, and that the load does exceed the forklifts limits. Ensuring that the load is secure will allow you to operate this machine without fear of any necessary limits.

Keep a Safe Speed 

Under no circumstances should this vehicle be driven at its highest speed in the workplace. This prevents you from driving safely and accurately. If you were to take corners and turns at a high speed, you put yourself at risk of tipping. Whenever you need to make any change of direction, always do so slowly and gradually.

Maintain a Clear Point of View 

This tip also plays a large factor in staying alert and attentive. You want to be able to see all around you while operating a forklift. If you have a large and tall load, carry it close to the floor to allow you to retain good forward visibility. Also, make sure that you can see the top of a stack whenever you are positioning your load.

After Shift

Once you have completed use, make sure that the forklift is correctly and safely parked in its designated area. The forks must be completely lowered to the floor with the park brake applied. Never leave it running unattended, so you should always turn it off and remove the key.

Operating a forklift is no simple task. This piece of machinery is rather large and can be destructive if used by someone incorrectly. If you follow these tips, you will put yourself and the others around you in a safer work environment. The staff at Ace Equipment is full of forklift experts who are here to help make sure you correctly and safely drive your vehicle.