Forklifts are one of the most commonly used pieces of industrial equipment, with important roles in both warehouses and construction. While they’re just about everywhere, you can’t ever forget that they’re powerful — and dangerous — pieces of machinery.
ere are some of the most important rules to remember about forklift safety:
- Forklifts always need to be inspected before use. It doesn’t matter if a machine operated perfectly the day before — it still has to be inspected for signs of disrepair before use today. That includes checking fluid levels, looking at the overhead guard and testing the operating controls.
- It requires a skilled operator. Nobody should ever be allowed to operate a forklift without proper training and certification, even if it causes a delay in the work.
- Safety clothing is essential. Anyone operating a forklift needs to wear a high-visibility safety jacket, safety shoes and a safety helmet.
- You need to know your forklift. There are actually several different types of forklifts, and each has different handling methods, weight limits and structure. Understanding what you are operating is essential for both your safety and those around you.
- Pedestrian awareness is critical. This means two things. First, the forklift operator needs to be conscious of pedestrians. That means never letting a load block your view when you’re in motion. Second, your co-workers and other pedestrians need to be trained about how to handle themselves when the forklift is in motion.
- Observe basic safety rules. No matter how rushed you are, you can’t speed, operate too closely to others, take risks with unstable loads or operate near hazardous areas.
You can be smart and sensible while working with forklifts, but that doesn’t mean that you can always avoid an injury. If you’re seriously hurt in a construction accident, you have every right to seek compensation for your losses.