6 Tips to Ensure Forklift Safety – Don’t Become Another Statistic

When operating a forklift, safety should be the number one priority. Yet each year, workplace-related injuries and deaths involving forklifts continue to take place.

It’s not only the forklift operator that can be injured, but pedestrians are placed at high risk also.

The five most common reasons that people are harmed or killed by a forklift include:

  •         Driver error – pedestrians being struck, trapped or run over by a forklift
  •         Inadequate traffic management
  •         Not using correct attachments when needed
  •         Assisting to adjust or steady a load
  •         Forklift tip-overs

Both the employer and the employee have responsibilities to reduce the risks of forklift-related injuries.

Be proactive – don’t wait until an injury or death occurs before you implement safe working practices.

At Aussie Forklift Hire in Sydney, we take forklift safety seriously

You can trust that when you purchase or rent a forklift from Aussie Forklift Hire, our forklifts undergo strict routine maintenance and repairs to ensure that all of our equipment complies with government WHSstandards. All forklifts are workshop tagged and tested

For further forklift safety precautions in the workplace, we recommend the following 6points:

1. CorrectTraining and Supervision

Anyone that operates a forklift must be 18 years of age or older and hold a high-risk work forklift licence.

If a person is currently in training with a Registered Training Organisation for this licence, they can operate a forklift, but they must be directly supervised by a person who holds the correct licence and has the appropriate workplace experience.

2. Effective Traffic Management

Effective traffic management is key to forklift safety, especially to reduce the risk of pedestrian injuries or fatalities.

The workplace should be well-lit to ensure visibility and, at all times, there should be visibly marked pathways (if possible use physical barriers such as bollards) to separate forklift paths and pedestrians. Any blind spots need to be minimised, any restricted areas or intersections clearly pointed out and dedicated loading and unloading areas created.

Personal Protective Equipment should be worn by the forklift operator and high-vis workwear worn by any employees or visitors that may be walking outside of designated areas. The forklift must have working warning devices to alert others of movement, e.g. reversing alarm and horn.

If there are any ramps, these should be secure and have edge protection. They must also meet the forklift manufacturer’s specified gradient for forklift operation.

Speed can be controlled by specifying work area speed limits but, even at low speeds, forklift injuries can occur to both the driver and pedestrians if traffic areas are not properly controlled.

3. Forklift Pre-start Safety Check

It is crucial that a pre-start safety check is conducted at the beginning of each shift, or anytime that you operate a different forklift. Any damage or issues should be reported immediately and repaired before the forklift is used.

      A forklift pre-start safety check should include:

  • Check the forklift and any attachments for deformation, damage or wear and make sure that the forklift load rating and attachments are right for the task
  • Ensure that you are familiar with the operating controls
  • Inspect that all lift and tilt systems including attachments are operating correctly
  • Check that the steering, brakes, operating controls, warning devices, and lights are all working properly
  •  Inspect the tyres for any wear or damage
  • Check the liquid levels (oil, water, brake fluid, etc.)
  • Inspect any gas cylinders and their securing system (if present)
  • Ensure that seat belts are reliable

4. Seatbelts save lives

When operating a forklift, if seatbelts and other restraint systems are provided then they should be worn, unless a risk assessment has indicated that this is not safe and another measure has been applied.

Should the forklift tip-over, the seatbelt will keep the driver in the cab, rather than risk being thrown out and potentially being crushed or trapped by the forklift.

      A forklift can tip-over for several reasons, including:

  • Excessive speed
  • Braking too hard
  • The driver leaning out of the cab
  • Overloading or unstable load
  • Moving when the mast and load is elevated
  • Surfaces that are sloped
  • Travelling down/turning sideways on ramps

5. Forklift Attachments

The forklift should only be fitted with lifting attachments that are right for the load that is to be moved and as according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

You should always have information relating to the attachment fitted to the forklift on-hand, and by using this information and the forklift load chart, you can calculate the de-rated load capacity for the forklift.

6.Forklift Hire Guarantees Equipment is Well-maintained

Forklift rental can also assist in the reduction of workplace injuries as, here at Aussie Forklift Hire in Sydney, we guarantee the quality of our forklift rental fleet. You can be rest assured that all have been professionally serviced and maintained, with all ongoing maintenance, servicing and repairs included in the rental cost.

Forklift hire provides you with the benefit of being able to keep up to date with quality equipment and enables timely forklift replacement without a large capital outlay.

By adopting safe workplace practices and ensuring that equipment is well-maintained the risk of forklift-related injuries can be greatly reduced.

Talk to our skilled and helpful team today on (02) 9011 5811 to find out more about our short-term and long-term forklift hire options.