YOUR GUIDE TO FORKLIFT SAFETYHow to work with and around forkliftsWorking Safely with Forklifts
A forklift has superhuman strength to make work faster and easier. But if you don't drive a forklift safely and work around it carefully, it can be hazardous. Knowing the safety guidelines for forklifts can help you get your work done without accidents.The High Cost of Accidents
Everyone pays a high price for not working safely around forklifts. Drivers can be injured, disabled or killed if their forklift tips over on them. Pedestrians can be crushed by falling loads or run over by forklifts. Property damage, too, can result from poor driving, loading and unloading skills.Your safety programme
With the help of your supervisor, you and your co-workers can prevent forklift accidents, be proud of your work and go home injury-free.Know Your Forklift
Knowing a forklift's special features can help you understand how to drive safely and how to avoid hurting yourself and others.Drive Safely
A forklift is not a car. Learning special driving skills, like keeping loads low and avoiding sharp curves, can keep you alive and injury-free.Load and Unload Safely
Because so many steps are involved, loading and unloading can be tricky. Safe procedures can decrease accidents and property damage.Know Your Forklift
Whether you're new on the job or have been driving forklifts for years, make sure you know all its parts. Every day, check your safety devices - the horn, lights, brakes and reversing alarm. If any feature doesn't work, don't drive.
Mast and mast tilt lever - this lever tilts the mast forward and backwards. Use it only when stopped.
Accelerator - it helps you follow safe driving speeds. Know your limits.
Brakes - only drive when your brakes are in good shape. Always use your parking brakes when parked.
Forks - never raise or lower forks while moving.
Canopy - the canopy protects you from falling objects. But it can crush you if your forklift tips over.
Lights and horn - turn on lights in dimly-lit areas, and always use the horn at intersections.
Safety belt - many forklifts are equipped with safety belts. They should be worn when driving.
Nameplate - the load capacity plate tells you how much weight you can safely carry.
Rear wheels - rear wheels turn sharply. Make wide turns to avoid tipping over. It's not a car.
Forklifts are tall and narrow and tip over easily. So you can't drive them nearly as fast as you would drive your car.Pedestrian Safety
Even non-moving forklifts can be dangerous, so be extra careful when working around them:
Look out for the forks so you don't trip over them.
Never walk under loads; they may fall on you.
Leave forklift controls alone.Drive Safely
Your road to safety can be paved with obstacles, so use your skills to map to hazards and to plan ahead. No matter what the road condition, follow safe driving procedures and be alert to avoid tipping over. Make your driving motto "Safety First." Take your new driving skills seriously and realize that there is nothing from treating your forklift like a car. The payoff for a safe driving record is keeping yourself and your co-workers alive and free from injuries.
Keep load low - while moving, keep forks low with mast tilted slightly back.
Keep safe visibility - if a load blocks forward vision, drive backwards.
Follow safe speed limits - drive only as fast as you can comfortably walk - no speeding.
Avoid sharp turns - you can tip over if you make sharp turns too fast.
Use you horn.
Always use your horn at intersections.
Look out for holes -holes, grease, oil slicks and uneven ground can cause you to tip.
Watch the slope - back down slopes that have greater than a 10% incline.
Never carry hitchhikers - they can easily fall off and be injured.
Leave aisle room - follow guidelines for allowing room for pedestrian and other traffic.
Park safely - on a hill, always block wheels, lower forks and set the parking brake.Pedestrian Safety
If you work around forklifts, follow these safety tips:Stay clear of moving forklifts.
Never hitch a ride.
Be alert for forklifts at intersections.Avoid Tipping Over
Don't drive with tall loads. Too tall or "top-heavy" loads can change your forklift's centre of gravity and cause you to tip over.Make sharp turns slowly.
If you turn too fast, you're likely to shift your load. Any sudden movement can cause you to tip over.Keep load upgrade.
To avoid tipping, always carry your load upgrade. Also, back down ramps and never turn on grades.Avoid fast speeds.
Forklifts can't travel at high speeds. Without loads, they aren't weighted and are especially unstable.Watch for holes.
Holes and other uneven ground can cause you to tip. Watch the road and cross railroad tracks diagonally.Load and Unload Safely
Loading and unloading are a prime time for accidents to you, your co-workers and property. When loading, enter the pallet carefully, capture the load safely and keep your forks low. Unloading poses the most potential for accidents, simply because you have to be alert to more variables. Whether you stack your load on a rack or a truck, use safe driving skills: Be careful and alert.
1. Enter the pallet. Keep forks high enough to enter the pallet and as wide apart as possible.
2. Capture the load. Lift and tilt load back so it's secure, and never load over your forklift's weight limits.
3. Keep forks low. Forks should clear the road by 15 to 20 cm. Raise them higher for ramps and grades.
4. Plan your route. Plan your route so you'll be prepared for what's ahead:Surfaces. Know the condition of the road.Visibility.
Always look in the direction you're travelling and keep loads low.
Up Ramps. Keep the load uphill.Intersections.
Use your horn and watch out for other traffic.
5. Turn into position. Turn slowly. Raise the forks if necessary. Be alert or you don't damage property.
6. Stack on a rack. Raise the load to the right height. Position load. Tilt the load forward and lower the pallet onto the rack. Back out, looking over your shoulder.
7. Stack on a truck. First, make sure the dock plate and truck can't move. Position the load, tilt it forward and release. Back out carefully, looking over your shoulder as you drive.Co-worker Safety
To keep a co-worker safe on a platform:Use a securely attached platform.
Protect from moving parts with a mast guard.
Never travel with co-workers on the platform.
Watch out for overhead obstructions.Pedestrian Safety
Loading and unloading presents special dangers if you work around forklifts:Keep a safe distance from loads.
Stay clear of turning forklifts.
Be sure the driver knows where you are.Teamwork is Rewarding
Staying accident-free all year takes teamwork from everybody - you, your co-workers, and your supervisor. Each plays a vital role in preventing forklift accidents, and everyone benefits. Whether you drive a forklift or simply work around them, you can help avoid injuries, keep your workplace safe and go home to enjoy the good life you've worked hard to create.