The use of an heavy equipment in the workplace requires that you be trained in how to safely operate the machinery. Each year hundreds of accidents are caused by someone using heavy machinery they were not qualified to operate. A forklift falls into the heavy equipment category and requires a license to operate. Almost half of the injuries are due to the forklift flipping since the person driving was unaware of how to safely maneuver the large machine. Using a forklift may look easy but it is much like driving a car or riding a bike it takes time to master before you can be completely confident you are driving safely.
All forklift training must been done by a person that has complete knowledge of working a forklift. They must given written and oral instructions as well as a demonstration. The person that is being taught must show them that they have learned. If the trainer does not feel the trainee has mastered the forklift they can deny them their certificate and have them take the class over again. Once you are certified in forklift safety. you are required to renew your certificate each year.
Forklift Safety Tips
- Only Operate a forklift if you have been properly trained in forklift safety. If you do not have the proper training an accident could occur and injury you or people working around you.
- Do not drive the forklift while your load is lifted more than eight inches off of the ground. The load could become uneven and fall over causing you to crash or injury to others in the area.
- Make sure the load is not to heavy for the lift. Most forklifts have weight limitations. Be sure you know how much weight can be safely carried.
- Never raise or lower your load while you are moving. The only time the forklift should go up or down is while you are parked.
- Always wear the proper safety gear such as a hard hat and reflective vest at all times while operating the forklift.
- Always keep your arms and legs inside the forklift. They could get snagged on an object as you pass and cause serious injury.
- Never let a person ride on the forklift. It might look like fun but if that person falls off while you are moving it could result in a serious injury.
- Take all turns slowly and avoid making sharp turns that could cause the forklift to flip .
These are just a few tips on forklift safety. Remember all heavy machinery should be run only by people that are qualified to do so. There is no reason to risk your life or the life of others by operating a machine you know nothing about. Forklifts may look fun and easy but they are serious machines that should not be fooled around on.