Although lift trucks are safe machines, every day workers are injuring themselves due to unsafe operating. Even those who have had the highest level of forklift training find themselves in crucial accidents as a result of getting too comfortable and loosing concentration.
As an RTITB accredited training company, safety is our number 1 priority and we hope that after completing a course with us it will be yours too. At Key Performance Training, we believe that the first step in avoiding mistakes is to be aware and educated on the possible mistakes you can make, especially the most common ones.
Here are the 4 most deadly mistakes you can make when operating a forklift truck. However, all it takes is one mistake; so don’t let it be you.
1. Driving with an elevated load
Many experienced operators believe they can get away with driving the truck with an elevated load and so do not bother to lower the forks. This is a huge mistake to make and is one of the most common causes of fatal injuries and deaths in forklift operating.
When the truck has a higher centre of gravity, it becomes much less stable meaning one fast turn can cause the truck to tip over and potentially crush the driver on its way down.
Reminder- if you do find yourself in a situation where your forklift has overturned you should always lean in the opposite direction to the way the truck is tipping rather than attempting to escape before the truck overturns.
2. Not inspecting the forklift truck
Inspections need to be a thorough procedure that is carried out each time the forklift is used. It only takes a matter of minutes but could potentially save lives. Some of the areas that should be a part of your daily inspection include; the tyres, brake and transmission fluids, loose parts or leaks, instrument and pedals.
Check out our other blogs for more in detail information about the importance of carrying out pre-op checks and the ones that are often forgotten.
3. Operating with a non- secured load
Non- secured loads are just an accident waiting to happen. Many operators are aware of the consequences but carry on risking it and don’t secure loads before operating. Yes, at times you could get away with it and yes your friend may have gotten away with it but when it goes wrong it won’t be you suffering but someone else in your workplace who has been struck by this load due to your negligence.
4. Blind spots
Blind spots in busy warehouses are something that is impossible to avoid, the actual mistake here is a miscommunication between workers. Not only are forklifts dangerous for the operator, they also cause great danger to other works and pedestrians. The best way to avoid this is by maintaining good communication at all times.
As workers in a warehouse, you need to be sure to follow the correct safety procedures, signs , signals. As operators, you need to enable the workers to follow these procedures by making sure your sound and light signals are working before moving and also that you are staying within the zones.