Forklift accidents are very dangerous for both the victim and operator. It can be easy to prevent them though, with some simple safety precautions. Safety measures can be put into place at your business, and the forklift itself.
Forklift accidents can happen for any number of reasons, but they usually involve unexpected movement. Some common types of forklift accidents are following.
- A collision between a forklift and another object such as a wall or another vehicle.
- Operator error, such as the driver hitting the brakes too hard or steering into an obstacle
- The lorry overturning
- Being hit by flying load, due to improper securing of cargo on the forklift
There are 4 ways by which you can prevent an accident from happening while operating a forklift.
1. Avoid blind spots by using side-view mirrors
Side view mirrors are crucial when it comes to avoiding accidents of forklift. Not only do they allow you to see what is beside your vehicle, but also in front of it. Never operate the forklift without them. They are inexpensive and can prevent some major issues. Ensure that you have your side-view mirrors mounted on properly.
2. Don’t overload your forklift
If you are overloaded, it can be difficult to control the forklift. Too much weight in the back of the lorry will make it hard for you to go up slopes. It also puts the brakes under more stress which could lead to accidents when stopping or slowing down. Keep in mind that if something does slide off your forklift, it could also cause an accident. Secure all loads properly. Sometimes the load may shift when you are carrying it and create an imbalance in the forklift. This can put stress on the driver and lead to accidents. Always use straps that are durable enough for the weight of the load. They should also be stored in a neat and organized fashion to prevent the forklift from looking cluttered.
3. Frequently inspect your forks and ensure they are in good condition
This is very important, as using faulty equipment can lead to several accidents. Properly calibrate your forklift’s load capacity so that it does not exceed this limit even if the load itself weighs more than you expected. Driving at a high speed is another thing, as this could increase the likelihood of a collision.
Ensure that you are turning into a clear area before doing so. Turning will cause you to lose control, and there is an increased risk of crashes if it is done at high speeds or sharp angles. Make sure that your load is balanced and does not sway. You should also check your brake function and steering mechanisms before you make a turn.
4. Always ensure that your vehicle can be maneuvered properly
Before driving, make sure you can easily turn the steering wheel and move it backward and forwards. It is very difficult to drive a forklift if you cannot control its movements well. If you cannot move your forklift, do not get in it. This can be done by pushing and pulling the steering wheel to ensure that it responds accordingly.
Don’t forget to train, train, and train! Practice makes perfect, and this is true with forklifts. You should ensure that all employees involved in operating the vehicle are trained, tested, and certified on how to use it properly. This is mandatory for all operators of any forklift. It will reduce the number of accidents you have.