Every successful forklift operator requires extreme patience, awareness, and dedication to safety. 100 workers are killed in forklift related accidents per year, and another 20,000 are seriously injured. These sobering statistics should be kept in mind throughout your training process.
Throughout your operator training, you should always keep these 5 handy skills in mind. These 5 tips will help you become the most efficient, safe, and professional operator you could possibly be.
1.Ensure Load Stability
– Whenever handling loads, remember to handle with them care. Always check for stability and balance before lowering or lifting loads. An unstable load can cause injury, or worse.
– To increase stability while travelling with loads, be sure to keep the forks low and the load tilted back. Travelling with high raised forks, or with a load that is tilted forward, increases instability.
2.Slow and Steady Wins the Race
– Always consciously observe the speed limit in your area before travelling about in your work environment. Be aware of your surroundings before beginning your journey.
– Remember, there is never a rush! Indeed, it is always better to be slow and safe than to rush about and increase the risk of an accident.
– Never use sudden jerky movements while in your forklift. Keep your speed limit in mind and never exceed it.
3.How to Drive on a Ramp
– Whenever you are driving up ramps, be sure to direct your forklift forward.
– Conversely, when you are driving downhill, be sure to set your forklift in reverse.
– Never load or unload goods while you are on the ramp.
4.Never Lift People on the Forklift
-It is never safe to use forklifts to lift people. If a person absolutely needs to be lifted you should only use a securely attached work platform and cage.
-All forklifts are designed to carry loads, not people.
5.Check your Environment- Things to Avoid
– Always be on the lookout for possible obstructions in your area. Look out for crevices, bumps, and loose materials.
– Use extreme caution on slippery surfaces.
– If you are ever close to a pedestrian environment (for example near doors, corners, exits, or entrances), be sure to use your horn to signal your approach. Always proceed with increased caution around these areas.
There is a great deal of information to learn in forklift operator training. However, the main themes you will always encounter will be safety and common sense within the workplace. As long as you remember to take the time to put safety first, you are sure to become a pro before you know it.