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Operating a Forklift – An Important Safety Guide


For any business owner whose operating with packaged goods and pallets, it’s important you know your options for moving said products from one spot to another, especially if they’re fragile or heavy.

Usually, such businesses use easier work platforms such as forklifts for efficiency purposes.

However, there are some guidelines you must follow to ensure their safe operation.

Operating a Forklift Safely – Safety Guidelines

 A Qualified Operator

Training is essential if you want to operate a forklift. You must be over 18 and properly trained and certified. Only a licensed professional will have the knowledge needed to use the forklift safely.

 Wear Appropriate Clothing

This means safety work gear. This includes a hard hat, hi-visibility jackets and safety shoes. Any simple clothing must be fitted—no loose threads or fabrics that can get caught in the machinery. The operator must also never touch or handle any controls if they have grease on their hands. Any slips may cause a serious accident.

 You Must Examine and Inspect the Equipment before Operation

Routine checks are important. Start and stop the machinery, check for any leaks or damages, and inspect the brakes, controls, warning devices, tires and steering. If you find any damage, report it to the manufacturer and do not operate it.

 Be Safely Strapped in and In Control before Starting the Forklift

Ensure that all equipment is within your reach. The mirrors and seat must be adjusted according to your needs. The safety belt must be fastened and all parts of your body must be inside the confines of the cabin or forklift.

 Be Aware of Your Surroundings

Observe all signs including clearance heights and permitted floor loadings. Figure out the journey’s end before you pick up a bulk. You need a convenient position to be able to stack the load.

If you’re operating the forklift near a loading dock or ramp, be cautious of the edge otherwise the forklift may fall. Stay away from bridge plates. They are unable to support the weight of the load and forklift.

 Only Use a Forklift to Carry a Package or Bulk

No riding is allowed on the equipment. However, a person can be lifted if a separate seat is fitted to the platform. When lifting though, be sure to follow the operating directions as given by the manufacturer. You may be directed to use a securely attached cage and platform.

 Be Wary of Overloading

Determine the capacity of your forklift before attaching anything. You cannot risk exceeding its lift capacity. Overloading the lift can sometimes lift the back tires off the ground and cause it to tip over.

 Use it Properly

When using a forklift, keep an eye on the tips of the fork in case you’re not able to slide the fork under the bulk properly. The tips must never be used to raise a heavy bulk. Never use one fork. This can cause the lift to tip on its sides if the load is too heavy.

Buying a Forklift for Your Business

When buying a forklift, it’s important that you purchase one from a reliable supplier. A low-quality platform adversely affects your work. Don’t let your decision cost you.

Industrial Man Lifts is an internationally recognized provider of industrial maintenance platforms including forklifts which are being used the world over.

To know more about our products, contact our 24/7 customer support service at (888) 730-8377 or email us at sales@industrialmanlifts.com.


November 13, 2017
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