Warehouse forklift safety tips

Forklift safety is for both the operator and all bystanders. Operators should give bystanders right of way, never drive up close to anyone, keep their eyes and attention to the direction of travel, and move through aisles slowly. Bystanders should not attempt to get in the way, even if they think there is space, they should be aware, they should make eye contact with the driver before proceeding, and stand clear of the lift.

The safety instructions for forklifts in warehouses are explicit to avoid the 68,400 forklift accidents every year. In accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), all forklift drivers must be trained on each piece of equipment they will be operating. Additionally, it’s also essential for forklift drivers to learn about pedestrian/bystander safety in the warehouse.

The importance of warehouse forklift safety is in part because when the workers are educated there will be less accidents and the workplace will function cost-effectively. For the drivers, here are some very important need to knows:

  • Regulate driving speeds based on location, flooring texture, and the number of people in an area.
  • Safety over efficiency if you have to choose.
  • Honk the horn while turning blind spots, even if you think nobody is around.
  • Never use a cell phone while operating a forklift, give it your undivided attention.
  • Decrease your speed for corners, intersections, ramps, and other areas with high collision risks.
  • Be aware of any spills and wet surfaces while driving, and avoid puddles of liquid when possible.
  • The forklift is not for carpool, do not allow people to ride with you on the forklift.
  • Report all forklift accidents right away.
  • Do not hesitate to report any issues with the forklift to your supervisor.
  • Always lower the forks to the ground before parking.
  • Park the forklift in a safe area designated for it.
  • Do not park too close to another forklift.

For all the bystanders in the warehouse, here are some need to knows:

  • Sustain a safe distance from the forklift at all times, even if you think that there is space, think twice, and do not assume the driver sees you.
  • Never walk under the forks of the forklift, even if they have nothing on them.
  • Remember that empty forks can still cause damage if they suddenly crash down on your head.
  • Be alert and listen for horns indicating that the forklift driver is coming around the corner.
  • Use corner mirrors, if they are installed in your warehouse, check for machines coming your way, and report to your supervisor if there are no mirrors.
  • Beware of the “fall zone” for the forklift to avoid any injury.

Another key point in warehouse forklift safety is its maintenance. If your forklift is out of date for inspections, it may have faulty parts, and will not function as it should be leading to catastrophic consequences. For all your forklift safety and company needs in the Irving and Frisco, Texas, areas, contact us at Ace Equipment today!