Top 5 Forklift Load Hazards

Forklift truck sign. Symbol of threat alert. Hazard warning icon. Black lift-truck with the silhouette of a man emblem isolated in yellow triangle on white background. Danger label. Stock VectorWhile forklifts can be essential tools to help a company stay productive and successful, they must be used by trained professionals who understand the safety precautions that need to be taken. Drivers need to ensure they’re following OSHA protocols for inspection and operation and also be aware of forklift load hazards, which can pose serious risks to the driver and others in the area — not to mention could mean liability on the part of an employer if an accident does occur.

Here are the top 5 forklift load hazards to keep on your radar:

1. Unsecured Load:

Whatever materials the forklift is carrying need to be properly secured. Loads that are poorly stacked or haphazardly piled onto the pallet can cause instability and could result in the load being dropped, or even in the forklift toppling over.

2. Over-capacity Loads:

Each forklift is designed to carry a certain weight, a limit that should not be exceeded. Loads that are heavier than the equipment was built to hold can also create instability and pose a hazard.

3. Load Stability:

A forklift should only carry a heavy load at a certain height; if the forks are raised too high, that greatly escalates the risk for the forklift toppling over or the load falling.

4. Load Height:

Operators should be conscious of their surroundings when carrying a load, as the height of the pallet could become an issue. For instance, if the load blocks the vision of the driver or can’t clear the overhead, an accident could occur.

5. Loads of Hazardous Materials:

Special attention should be paid when drivers are transporting hazardous materials, which could potentially pose one of the most serious forklift load hazards. Gasses, explosives or materials that are flammable, poisonous or pose an environmental risk, for instance, should all be handled and loaded with extreme caution. Operators need to be properly trained on loading, transporting and unloading hazard materials in order to reduce risk.

To keep employees and the workplace secure, employers should ensure all forklift operators know how to avoid these forklift load hazards and follow best practices for safety.

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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