Safety Tip of the Week – Forklift Safety

Every year many workers are killed in forklift accidents, many caused by overturning the forklift. Other common causes are workers being struck by materials, workers stuck by the forklift, and even workers falling from the forklift.

Basic Forklift Safety Practices:

Here are a few common safety rules to follow during forklift operation:

  • Use the seat belt. It will keep you secured in the seat in the event of a tip over;
  • A parked forklift should have the forks flat on the floor with the controls set to neutral and with the parking brake set;
  • A forklift is “unattended” if the operator is more than 25 feet away or if the forklift is out of the direct vision of the operator. Unattended forklifts should be parked with the power turned off;
  • When operating the forklift on inclines, the load should always be on the uphill side of the incline. Drive forward going up the incline. Drive backward going down the incline;
  • When traveling without a load on the forks, keep the forks approximately four to six inches off the floor;
  • Never allow anyone to walk under a raised load;
  • Stop at all blind corners to check for other traffic in the area. This includes other forklifts and pedestrians. Honk your horn and look before you proceed;
  • If carrying a tall load that blocks your forward vision, drive in reverse and turn your head so you can see where you are going;
  • If operating around other forklifts, maintain a three-forklift length distance between forklifts and never attempt passing; and
  • Never drive a forklift up to the back of a person who is unaware that the forklift is behind him.

Failing to act responsibly when you’re behind the wheel not only puts the load at risk, but also puts you and co-workers in danger. Please keep this in mind each time you prepare to turn the key.

Download flyer: STOTW_1105_ForkliftSafety

Download Spanish flyer: STOTW_1105_ForkliftSafety_esp

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