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16 Simple Tips for Operating a Forklift Safely

Views: 72     Author: Fullwon     Publish Time: 2019-07-19      Origin: Site

16 Simple Tips for operating a forkliftsafely

Operators must be qualified

Operating forklifts should only be done by individuals who have been trained properly and contain a licence to operate the equipment.

2. Appropriate clothing must be worn.

It needs to be ensured that operators wear the appropriate safety work wear; usually consisting of a hard hat, safety shoes and hi-visibility jackets.

The work wear must be reasonably fitted as any loose clothing can get caught on machinery.

 Don’t operate/hold any of the controls when your hands have grease on them; it may cause them to slide off and cause an accident.

3. Examine Equipment before use

Operators should do a routine check of the equipment before driving them.  Some things you should check for any faults are brakes, steering, controls, warning devices, mast and tyres.

 If there are any noted damages or problems management should be notified and the forklift should not be operated if it needs to be repaired.

Always consider the ‘journey’s end’ of a load before picking it up.  A convenient position of a load from pick up may not be convenient for stacking.

4. Starting up the forklift

For safety purposes it’s important for the operator to make use of the steps and hand grabs to seat themselves correctly in the forklift.

 Before starting the forklift it’s important to ensure all the equipment’s controls are in reach and the seat position and mirrors are adjusted to the operator’s needs.

 The operator should not start the forklift until they are correctly seated with their safety belt fastened and all parts of their body are safely inside the confines of the operators cabin or the forklift.

5. Consider the surrounding environment

Whilst operating a forklift you must pay attention and follow any work site rules and guidelines.

The operator must only drive the equipment in the machinery’s designated roadways.


Observe all signs, especially those on maximum permitted floor loadings and clearance heights.

Be aware of the height of the load, mast and overhead guard of the forklift when entering or exiting buildings.

Be careful when operating a forklift near the edge of a loading dock or ramp - the forklift can fall over the edge - keep a safe distance from the edge.

Do not operate on bridge plates, unless they can support the weight of the forklift and load.

6. Operate at a safe speed

Never proceed past the speed limit.

Take corners and any turns slowly to minimise risk of tipping.

 Make any changes in direction or any stops gradually and slowly.

7. Avoid Hazards

Steer clear of any bumps or uneven ground surfaces along with slippery conditions.

Steer clear of loose ground objects which could cause loss of control over the equipment or a load to move around.

 Use the horn when closing in on a corner or doorway/entrance and around people to alert pedestrians or other forklift operators of your whereabouts to avoid any unnecessary collision.

 Keep a safe distance from other trucks in case they move in an unpredictable manner.

Make sure that you always have enough space to stop safely.

8. Ensure your load is stable and secure

Check the loads carefully before moving them for stability and damage.

It is important to ensure that the load is tilted back with the forks sitting low whilst transporting in order to increase truck stability.

Check for any overhead objects before lifting or stacking loads.

Do not lift or move loads that are not safe or stable.

Make sure loads are correctly stacked and positioned across both forks.

Stack the load on the pallet or skid safely and correctly.

Use securing measures such as ropes or bindings if required.

9. Make sure you have clear visibility

Operate the forklift in reverse when it improves visibility; except when moving up ramps.

It is important to make sure you can see the racking clearly in which you are positioning your load.

 If visibility is poor do not continue driving; in some circumstances you may need a lookout helper to assist you.

 10. Forklifts are for Carrying Loads only

Operators must not let others ride on the equipment unless another seat is fitted safely to the forklift for a second person.

 If a person has to be lifted, use only a securely attached work platform and cage and follow the appropriate operating instructions.

11. Keep Clear of the Mast

Do not authorise anyone to stand or walk under the load or forklift machinery - The load can fall causing injury or death.

Keep hands and feet clear of the cross members of the mast - Serious injury can be caused if the mast is lowered while your hand is on it.


12. Driving on Ramps

When driving up ramps’ move in a forward direction and down ramps in reverse, especially while carrying loads.

Do not load or unload goods or turn whilst on a ramp.

13. Ensure the forklift is not Over-loaded

Do not use the tip of the forks as a lever to raise a heavy load.

Do not push a load with the tip of the forks.

Know the capacity of your forklift and any attachments being used and never exceed this capacity.

An overload can cause the rear tyres to be raised off the ground and may cause the forklift to tip over.

14. Ensure the Load is evenly distributed

Do not lift or move a load unless both forks are fully under the load.

Do not lift a load with one fork. Use pallets and skids that can withstand the weight of the load.

Do not use damaged, deformed or decayed pallets for holding loads.

15. Refuelling

A forklift should only be refuelled at specially designated locations.

Switch off the forklift.

For IC engine forklifts, no open flame or sparks are permitted, and refuelling should take place in a well-ventilated area.

16. When the Shift Ends

After use ensure the forklift is parked in a designated or authorised area.

Fully lower the forks to the floor and apply the park brake.

Turn the forklift “off” and remove the key.

Do not leave a forklift running whilst unattended.

How should I know which forklift I need?

You’re right in asking this question because having the right forklift for your application and work environment is imperative for safety and productivity. Our staff will help you choose the forklift .

What attachments can I add to my forklift?

It is important that you purchase your forklift attachment from the forklift manufacturer and that the manufacturer installs the attachment too. We offers a number of forklift attachments for various applications. However, it’s important to know that adding attachments to your forklift can, and likely will, change the capacity rating. Anytime attachments are added to a forklift, the data plate should be updated to reflect the change in capacity rating.

How often does my forklift need maintenance?

Depend on your forklift condition, you can take photos to us .we will supply the online guidance.

Does it really matter which replacement parts I put on my forklift?

The truth is, yes. We will recommend that you can purchase the forklift with the maintenance parts as well .

Where can I get certified to operate a forklift?

Contact us , we will introduce more to you .

If I get trained to operate a forklift once, am I certified forever?

No. According to OSHA, when you get certified to operate a forklift, you’re only certified until:

You’ve been observed operating the forklift in an unsafe manner.

You’ve been involved in an accident or near-miss accident.

You have received an evaluation that revels you were not operating the forklift safely.

You are assigned to drive a different forklift than you were originally trained on.

A workplace condition changes that could affect safe operation of the forklift.

When should I replace my forklift?

We talk a lot about useful versus economic life and that’s because knowing the difference is important to you and your bottom line. Your forklift could be useful for a lot longer than it is economical, but it’s best to replace when it starts costing you money.

How can I buy a forklift?

When it comes to new forklifts, you have three options. You can rent, lease, or buy. Of course, you can also purchase a used forklift, but you need to be sure the person or place you’re purchasing from is reputable, because forklift malfunctions can be very dangerous.

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 Phone: 0086-21-65665597
 E-mail: buytruck@fullwon.com
Office address: Room 501-505, Building 8, Hi-Shanghai Commercial Building, No. 950 Dalian Road, Shanghai, China.
Factory address: No. 3158-3188, Jiuxin Road, Songjiang District, Shanghai, China.
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