September 18, 2015
What are the basics to operating a forklift?
I’m not an expert with forklifts, so I did some research and listed some references to get more information about operating a forklift. You will find there are more things to consider than you may have thought, like the load weight, OSHA requirements, having a license, or knowing an inexperienced forklift operator can be dangerous.
Forklifts look simple. They scoot around and slide from station to station at a modest pace of 5 – 10 miles an hour. They look harmless. The back wheels turn and the tail of the machine swings out. It reminds you of a bumper car at an amusement park. But it is not! A loaded forklift can be very dangerous to its driver and to anyone that gets in its path if safety is not taken into account.
Below are a list of some basic considerations when operating a forklift:
- Make sure the forklift is in good condition. There are no leaks, and all of the controls are functioning properly.
- Inspect the forklift with a quick “walk-around”. Ensure there are no cracks in the steel or bends in the length of the fork. Fork damage can be very hazardous.
- Check for any loose bolts or warning lifts, and all of the fluids are at their specified levels.
- Check the roll cage. The roll cage cage is there to protect you should the forklift fall over.
- Always wear a seat belt. You do not want the forklift to rollover and you find yourself underneath it.
- Be aware of the lift capacity and never lift more weight than maximum lift weight.
- Never drive forward with your forks raised
- Before driving the forklift, become familiar with all of the controls.
- While driving the forklift, always maintain a clear line of sight. Never carry a package that blocks your view or line of sight.
- Only certified forklift operators should operate a forklift
- Know how the brake system works. Is it soft or hard? Does it come to quick halt or is it a progressive stop? A quick halt can cause your package to become unstable.
- Check if the horn works. You can not blow your horn too much while operating a forklift. When in doubt, blow your horn.
- Drive with even more caution while carrying a load or while pedestrians are near. Move slower, and keep your eyes alert.
- Never allow anyone to walk underneath raised forks, especially if it has a load.
- Remember the tail of the truck swings out during a turn. Be aware of pedestrians and equipment that may be in your way
- Never driver over anything and believe that it will okay. It will not!
Brought to you by Industrial Surplus World. We buy and sell forklifts both operational and non-operational, nationwide.
- Forklift Safety Quiz (mysafetysign.com)
- 10 Forklift Safety Rules – A Review (slideshare.net)
- Forklift Sings – ‘Tame the Beast’ (mysafetysign.com)
- 5 Things You Should Know About Forklift Safety (learnatvivid.wordpress.com)
- Forklift Operation Basics (Essortment.com)
- Forklift Certification (certifyme.net)