10 Forklift Safety Tips

Forklifts play a large part in everyday warehouse operations. They help move goods from one location to another but can be dangerous if you don’t follow the proper safety procedures. To avoid injuries, follow these 10 forklift safety tips:

Forklift Safety Tips

  1. Only licensed individuals can operate a forklift: In order to operate a forklift, one needs to be properly trained and possess a licence for operating the equipment.

  2. The right clothing must be worn: As with any machinery, forklift operators need to wear the appropriate safety gear (hard hat, safety shoes, high-visibility jackets, etc.). Also, the gear must be fitted enough so that it doesn’t get caught on the machinery.

  3. Equipment and the area around it need to be inspected before each use: Check the forklift itself to ensure that the steering, controls, brakes, mast and tires are all in proper working order. Then, make your way around the forklift and inspect the surrounding area to make sure there are no objects in the path you’ll be taking.

  4. Don’t speed: Speed limits exist for a reason. It’s always better to drive slowly and take a few extra minutes when driving a forklift. Go around corners and turns carefully and stop gradually to avoid tipping. Be wary of bumps, uneven ground and slippery conditions. Don’t forget to use your horn so people know to get out of the way.

  5. Do not overload: Only operate a forklift if the load is evenly distributed. Over-exceeding capacity can cause the rear tires to rise and you may tip over. Remember to never use the tip of the forks to raise a heavy load or push on them.

  6. Do not let people ride on the forklift: Forklifts are for cargo only. Unless the forklift has two seats and is made for a second operator, you should never carry a passenger.

  7. Make sure your visibility is clear: Only operate the forklift if you can clearly see what’s in front of you. Furthermore, when driving on ramps, move forward when going up and reverse when going down.

  8. Ensure your load is secure: Before moving your load, check to ensure it is stable. Make sure loads are properly stacked and positioned over both forks and use ropes and bindings if necessary to keep it in place.

  9. Only refuel the forklift at designated locations: It is very important that the forklift is refuelled at designated, well-ventilated locations. Before you refuel, switch the engine off. Do not refuel a forklift that is still running. Never leave a forklift running and unattended.

  10. Park the forklift in a safe location: At the end of each shift, park the forklift in an area designated specifically for forklifts. Make sure the forks are fully lowered to the floor and apply the parking brake.