Safe Forklift Operations

Handling powered machinery is an important role in any industrial setting. It takes precision, care, awareness, and skill. Anything that goes wrong can lead to injury for you and those around you, as well as damage to your machinery and your stock.

Although working with forklifts can be dangerous, there are certainly ways to minimise the risk you and others face.

H3: Keep an up to Date Qualification

The first step to safety is to make sure you’ve done the homework. Going through a forklift certification course is not only highly recommended, but required in most circumstances.

In Queensland, there are two types of forklift licenses. An LF license is to operate a forklift truck, while an LO is for order picking forklift trucks.

During your certification course, you’ll learn all about the nuts and bolts of forklift operation. Follow them every time you use a forklift.

Read the Instructions

Because there are so many types of forklifts based on your particular industry, it’s important to read the instructions before getting started. Especially when you transition from diesel to electric and vice versa, there could be unfamiliar parts that require special attention.

Wear Appropriate Gear

Wear high visibility clothing, a hard hat, and closed toed shoes (ideally a steel toed work boots). Loose clothing can get caught in the machine, so keep your clothes and belts relatively fitted.

Clear the Area

Make sure the area you are operating in is completely clear and free of obstacles. With a diesel forklift, you’ll have greater clearance over rougher ground. Electric forklifts are often used in warehouses with narrow access. Ensure that you have enough space to move freely within the area. Check your forklift’s turning radius before confining yourself to a small space.

Communicate Clearly

To protect those around you, always announce yourself. If your forklift does not have any automatic alert sounds when you are backing up, make sure you do not change direction without announcing what you are doing – even if you do not see anyone coming.

Stay Alert

Never operate a forklift while you are tired, even if you are going slowly. With heavy machinery, it is not worth the risk.

Secure Your Goods

Make sure that anything you lift, haul or transport is securely attached to your forklift. Loads should be tilted back and correctly stacked. Use ropes and other bindings if need be. Remember that forklifts are for loads only – do not let passengers hitch a ride. Do not overload the forklift past capacity. Dropping heavy or delicate materials is the last thing you want.

Operating a forklift is a skilled job that requires attention. If you supervise employees who operate forklifts, make sure they are all licensed and are not operating beyond their abilities.

Find a new or used forklift that’s right for your company. Browse our wide selection of electric, LPG, and Diesel forklifts today, or give us a call at 07 0414 746 181.