Top Five Safety Rules to be followed while using forklifts

Published: 17th November 2011
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Forklifts are intricate machines that have become an essential tool of the material handling industry. With the rampant use of the lift trucks, there has been an increase in the need for forklift safety. Read on to know more about the safety rules that must be followed while using liftrucks.

More than 100 workers are killed in a year in accidents related to lifttrucks across United States.Operating a forklift is not easy. It is extremely risky and can result in fatalities if untrained operators are assigned the task of driving it. Most of the lift trucks related injuries are a result of lack of proper administration of safety rules, lack of secure operating methods and inadequate training program. Incorporating forklift safety in to your workplace training, will help you in preventing injuries and risks to your supplies and expensive equipment. Given below are some of the safety rules that must be followd while using lifttrucks.

1.Forklift Training Program.
Before allowing an employee to operate forklifts, employers must make sure that each operators have successfully completed the training programs required for operating lift trucks. If you are not capable of setting up of in house forklift training program, you can hire specialized trainers to train your workers. However investing in setting up of the relevant training program for the lifttruck operation is not a bad deal as this will result in the maintenence of a safe and efficient warehouse in the long run.

2.Lifttrucks not meant for fun
One of the most common mistakes that most of the operators of the lifttrucks involve themselves in is that they use it as a medium of entertainment. Many of the operators involve in racing forklift with their co workers which can be very risky and at times even prove dangerous to the lives of the
operators as well as the co workers. Even the riders must not be allowed on to this powerful vehicle.
Never allow riders on your forklift, and never engage in racing other vehicles, or any kind of horseplay. These vehicles are very dangerous, and are not meant for fun

3.Regular Maintenence
As far as regular maintenence of the forklifts are concerned, many employers often overlook this safety norm. Regular maintenence of your forklifts will definitely cost you in the beginning but the long term benefits of a well maintened forklift far more exceeds the costs involved in their maintenance.

4.Stick to your load limit
As far as load lifting capacity of the lift trucks are concerned, a specific weight is assigned to each and every machine. Operators must never indulge in loads over the specified weight. Failure to do so will result in bending of the fork or the tip of the liftrucks and dumping of the load which will risk otherís safety.

5.Honk the horn.
Operators of the forklifts must observe all stop signs in their work area. It is very important for them to slow down while crossing a particular work area and honk their horns. Forklifts without horns can prove to be fatal. It is therefore advisable not to use lift trucks without horns.

According to National fatality data from NIOSH, the three most common forklift related deaths are due to workers on foot being struck by forklifts, forklift operaters falling off from forklifts and forklift overturns. If the workers are imparted proper training and safety guidance, such forklift related injuries can easily be avoided.
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