Every year, forklifts are involved in 11% of accidents and are responsible for 100,000 injuries worldwide according to OSHA Safety Management. Forklift safety is essential for protecting the health and well-being of your employees. Accidents also result in costly lawsuits that are damaging to your brand’s reputation. Here are five tips that you should always include in your routine safety checks.
Check protective gear
Although the specific standards for safety equipment may vary slightly depending on your employer, protective hard hats, glasses, and reflective clothing will likely be a part of your uniform. You should always refer to the official employee dress code since safety equipment such as face shields or gloves may also be part of the requirements.
Refer to safety guides
The safety guidebook for forklift use and the operator’s manual should always be accessible to employees. Managers should also be available to answer any questions regarding safety. Make sure that employees are up-to-date on the latest forklift technology and safety requirements. Although certification programs are available online for forklift operation, managers should also include a job-specific safety course for all new and existing employees.
Measure fluid levels and tire pressure
It is important to ensure that forklifts have enough battery fluid, water, and hydraulic fluid to operate safely at all times. When forklifts are driven in an industrial environment, there is also a risk of punctured tires. Since daily wear and tear can cause tires to deflate, measure the tire pressure and watch out for any slashes or nails.
Perform a visual inspection
Next, carefully look over the entire forklift for any cracks, leaks, or defects. If anything seems amiss, call someone to repair it. Ignoring a leak and operating the forklift isn’t worth the risk of injury to an employee. Don’t forget to check the overhead guard, lift chains and rollers, forks, mast assembly, and hydraulic cylinders at the start of each day. Finally, check the load-handling attachments to make sure they aren’t loose.
Evaluate safety equipment
After the visual inspection, you’ll want to examine the safety features in the forklift. Seatbelts should fasten securely and be free of any tears or fraying. You’ll also want to test the brakes, steering, horn, and front, tail, and brake lights. Any problems with the safety equipment could put the lives of your employees at risk.