If you’re operating a forklift, you know that there are certain safety rules you must follow. Forklifts are classified as heavy machinery and, as such, can cause major damage or injury. It’s very important that you know how to operate one safely when on the job. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind.
• Make certain you know how to operate the type of forklift you’re driving. Not all models of forklift are the same. Some have different types of forklift forks or attachments. Driving a Bobcat is different from driving a forklift, even if it does have Bobcat forks attached. They may look like a forklift, but they don’t handle like one.
• Take a forklift operation course before driving any type of forklift.
• Make certain the forklift you’re going to use has been safety inspected and passed. This includes the tires, engine, and forklift forks.
• Know the lifting capacity for the forklift. If you lift a load that’s too heavy, the forklift can tip over, or the forks may bend.
• Make certain that the load is always secure before you lift and move it.
• Remember that your vision in the front may be blocked by the load. You should always check to make certain that no one is in front of you before you start driving, and always look before you turn or back up. Slow down and use the horn whenever you come to an intersection or corner.
• Forklifts can’t stop very quickly, so never drive directly towards someone. Even forklifts that are not carrying a load weigh more than a standard car. Be very careful when operating a forklift around other people.
• Always position the load as far back on the forklift forks as you can. This provides extra stability and helps keep the load from shifting or falling off.
• Always wear your seatbelt when operating a forklift.
• Never smoke, drink, or use any type of drugs while operating a forklift. This includes some prescription medications because they can impair your judgment. Make certain you know how a medication will affect you.
• Never raise or lower the forklift forks while moving. Always come to a complete stop first. Otherwise, the momentum could cause the load to shift and fall.
• Never lift anyone up on the forklift forks. Sure, it might seem like a good solution to reach something if there’s not a ladder nearby, or it might seem like fun. However, it’s very dangerous, and someone can easily get hurt.
• Remember that a forklift does not drive the same way as a car. Forklifts are most often rear-wheel drive, which means it swings out differently when turning. Always slow down when turning, stopping, or moving up or down an incline. Turning sharply can cause the forklift to tip over, especially if it has a heavy load on it.
• Only purchase parts and accessories from a certified dealer such as Intella Liftparts. You want to make certain the parts you use on your forklift are made from quality components and will not break or fail at inopportune times.
Author Bio: Marcel Vandentop is an authorized dealer of superior quality forklift forks, forklift seats and all types forklift spare parts for major brands of Bobcat forks with same day shipping.