Forklift Safety Training and Regulations
Forklift safety is an important concern in any warehouse, construction or engineering site. It is the employer's responsibility to have forklift safety guidelines in place to ensure the protection of not only the operators but also of the other employees who share the workplace.
This section outlines a few general precautions and safety regulations prominent in most workplaces. For related information on training - click here.
- Lift vehicles need daily inspections. Any concerns or faults need to be communicated to the appropriate authority. Inspections involve doing a complete walk-round looking for obstructions, ensuring a fire extinguisher is attached, checking engine levels (water, oil, fuel, battery connections etc), checking wheel treads and state, checking lights, looking for leaks or sign of damp spots and checking the vehicle breaks.
- Know the proper and set ways of determining load weights
- The siren or horn should be sounded when the vehicle is approaching a pedestrian walkway, a ramp, other vehicles or entrance ways where the view is limited.
- Speed is always reduced whenever the operator's view diminished. This is most often the case when approaching corners, entrances and ramps and as an important part of forklift safety.
- A forklift traveling the same way should not be over-taken at blind spots or road intersections.
- When parked the vehicle needs to be engaged in neutral, the parking brake engaged and the lift set to the lowered position.
- NO ONE should pass underneath a raised lift!
- NO ONE should be lifted using the lift. This is can only be done when device is attached to the vehicle. In line with this no one should "hitch a ride" - the operator should be the only passenger.
- If the load being carried is obstructing the forward view, the vehicle should be reversed.
- Observe the work surfaces and adjust your speed accordingly.
- The fork needs to be correctly adjusted to support the weight of a load, and should extend as far under the load as possible. The load should ultimately sit against a backrest with the mast angling back.
- Overhead obstructions vary according to the height of the lift. The operator needs to be aware of changes to the height within the workplace and also be aware of the height of the lift.
- Driving and work spaces should be labeled with painted yellow lines.
- As with automobiles there is a recommended distance that should be observed between forklifts - namely a safe distance equivalent to that of 3 vehicles.
- Often grease or other substances can find their way on to work gloves. One needs to make sure these are changed before using a vehicle as they can hinder steering.
For more information on safety please view your employer's regulations.