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Most Common Forklift Hazards

Forklifts are powerful pieces of machinery that must be handled with care. Though they’re excellent at lifting and transporting goods across a warehouse, they can also be a serious danger if not used safely.

There are many hazards that forklift drivers need to think about when operating the truck. It’s important you know what to look out for, so that you can keep yourself and others safe. In this article, we take a look at some of the most significant hazards for forklift drivers.

Speed and handling

Forklifts can travel at surprisingly high speeds and will need to manoeuvre carefully around a warehouse. Any forklift driver who is using the truck in a reckless manner can cause serious injury to themselves or others. 

You should always take care when turning and always be aware of your surroundings. Never use the forklift for anything other than its intended use and never do any manoeuvres or travel at speeds that could put you or someone else in danger. 

The best way to avoid this hazard is to ensure that all forklift operators are properly trained and have received their forklift licence.

Overloading

Each forklift truck has a maximum load capacity that must not be exceeded. Doing so could damage the forks or cause the forklift to tip over.

All operators should be aware of the maximum safe load for the forklift truck they are operating. Operators should double check that the load is stable and doesn’t exceed maximum capacity.

Floor condition

You may have checked, double checked and triple checked your forklift but still face hazards on your drive. This is because the condition of the warehouse itself can present a danger. Floors may have debris, puddles, unstable ground and various obstructions. It’s important to inspect the floor before operating the forklift to ensure that as many hazards as possible are removed and the floor is suitable to drive on.

Ramps may also pose a risk due to the weight of the forklift. If you are going down a ramp with a heavy load on the forklift, you risk losing control of the truck or the truck toppling over. In these situations, you should drive down the ramp in reverse.

Attachments

Attachments are a great way to add different functionalities to a forklift truck. There are so many attachments out there, and they each affect the forklift in different ways. Attachments can add weight to the lift and reduce the capacity of load, both of which will affect the way the forklift handles. 

All forklift operators must be trained in the proper use of all attachments they operate, including safety protocols and new capacity and lift limits. The forklift should be visually inspected before use to ensure the attachment is functioning correctly.

Improper maintenance

Even if your forklift runs great, it’s bound to wear down over time. Professional forklift maintenance will ensure that your forklift is safe to use throughout the year. We recommend setting up a scheduled maintenance plan with a reputable forklift company to keep your trucks in good working order. 

East Midlands Forklifts is a leading provider of forklift trucks and spare parts. For over 20 years, we’ve been supporting businesses throughout the East Midlands with forklifts on suitable hire and maintenance contracts. We offer a range of different forklifts for you to hire or buy outright depending on your needs. Whether you need a forklift for a few days or a few years, we offer competitive prices, exceptional customer service and fast delivery.

Contact East Midlands Forklifts today for more information.

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