Top 3 Forklift Hazards to Watch Out For and How To Prepare for Them


Safety is everything and more often than not, some of the most avoidable hazards are easiest to detect and avoid. The following list is a collection of the top three forklift hazards to watch out for and how to prevent these situations from manifesting. While the material handling field procures a wide array of dangers and perils, some of these troubles can be mitigated. Here are three common hazards experienced by many forklift operators and how you can thwart them whilst operating in the field:

Tipping Over – This happens more or less as a result of excess speed or improperly loading. Sometimes overinflated tires are also the cause, as they are most dangerous prior to use, especially in rough terrain. Overinflated tires are more likely to explode and create an instant malfunction. Therefore it is a recommended practice for forklift operators to ensure tires are properly inflated and to utilize these vehicles at the appropriate speeds. Furthermore, ensure all materials are properly loaded so the vehicle is not top-heavy. In addition to this, checking the battery, oil, fluids and antifreeze will ensure optimal operation of these vehicles prior to use and maximize results when they are handled.

Workplace Injuries – First things first, any forklift operator should always keep their eyes focused in front of them, constantly reviewing the area for prospective hazards. Additionally, it is also essential to keep hands free at all times, in the event a quick and swift maneuver must be executed. Also keeping appendages in the vehicle prevents many injuries that could be caused by falling objects or external threats. In some instances injuries occur as a result of a worker overexerting him or herself. More often than not many workers strain themselves as a result of attempting to lift too much without necessary help. This can be avoided through proper lifting and a team-oriented approach.  In addition, encouraging appropriate form in approaching the lifting of any object is a great way to circumvent these issues.

Using Attachments Improperly – This coincides with not being properly introduced to many of the mechanisms and interfaces associated with the forklift itself. There are a multitude of accidents that can occur as a result of improperly using attachments.  These incidents range from spills to goods being flung like projectiles. Using a forklift simulator is a great tool to help novice forklift operators become acquainted with these utilities in real-time scenarios without the risk attached. There are some basic and fundamental practices to ensure proper usage. According to Industry Tap all attachments have rated capacities. A tactical strategy would be implementing an effective control method to stamp the combined rated capacity on the forklift load capacity plate. It is imperative to only use certain attachments that are designed to match the machine for which they are intended to be used. Taking these basic steps can prevent a host of troubles and perils.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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