Best Practices for Forklift Safety

Forklifts are immensely useful machines, but they can be dangerous if operated incorrectly. These tips will help any operator ensure no accidents happen.

Best Practices for Operating a Forklift

Forklifts are capable of lifting much more weight than a human could. Without them, our economy wouldn’t exist. However, they do require knowledge and skill to be used safely. It’s up to the operators to ensure all safety procedures are followed.

Drive Slowly

It may seem like it goes without saying, but many operate the forklift at a speed that’s completely unacceptable. In a tight warehouse environment, it’s essential the forklift be operated at a low speed so it can stop should someone step in front of it.

Make Sure the Load Is Stable

An unstable load is at risk of falling from the forklift. In some cases, it can even cause the forklift to tip. Ensuring the load is stable before you begin moving reduces this risk and makes it much safer for anyone on foot to be around.

Do Not Allow Anyone to Walk Under the Forklift

At no point during forklift operation should anyone walk underneath the load. In fact, it’s best if people give a wide berth to the forklift while it’s in operation. A falling load can cause serious injury or even death, and a lowered mast can easily crush bones.

Be Aware of Everything Around You

Operating a forklift means being aware of any individuals who may be standing or walking nearby. Even when a forklift isn’t load, the forks are at the perfect level to break someone’s legs if they’re hit. While proper procedures should be followed by everyone, it’s ultimately up to the operator to ensure the forklift is operated safely.

Examine the Forklift Before Each Shift

Proper examinations of the forklift should occur before every use. This allows the operator to find any potential problems before they occur. It also helps guarantee the safety of those on the warehouse floor. Forklifts are certified to be operational before all forklift sales; however, routine operation can cause malfunctions.