The safety of MHE operators is imperative when dealing with material handling equipment such as Toyota forklifts and the like. It is critical to ensure you and your team know how to identify high-risk situations and how to safely execute tasks.
At Toyota Industrial Equipment, encouraging forklift safety amongst our clients is one of our main priorities. By following these basic forklift safety tips will contribute towards mitigating risk in your workplace and create a culture amongst operator that promotes forklift safety.
Forklift Operator Training
Trained forklift operators improve safety and increase efficiency in the workplace. In fact, too often forklift training is neglected and the result leads to injuries, damaged product, and equipment downtime. There are clear benefits to making sure operators are trained:
- Keep your operators safe: Driving a forklift might seem like a no-brainer, but it isn’t. Spending a little bit of time training the operator can prevent many injuries as well as increase efficiency.
- Keep your pedestrians safe: Walking through a work area can be extremely dangerous if the forklift operators haven’t been trained.
- Decrease your liability: Yes, you will still be liable for an accident even if you’ve trained your operator, but you’ll have much more liability on your hands if you never trained your operators to start with.
- Increase forklift longevity: The cost of damaging your forklift is a much more expensive pill to swallow than upfront training.
- Increase productivity: If your operator isn’t trained, he will end up spending time trying to figure things out he would’ve known if he had been. Making sure the operator is knowledgeable up front will increase productivity.
Forklift daily inspections
Forklifts that you buy, rent or hire must be inspected thoroughly before every use. If your team identifies any concerns, they must report these immediately with their shift supervisor. Never operate any forklifts in need of maintenance and repairs.
Regular daily inspections of the controls, brakes, steering, tyres, warning devices, and mast help avoid failed forklift accidents. Read more about our forklift inspection checklist here.
Wear safety gear
All MHE operators are obligated to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (“PPE”). This usually includes a hard hat, safety shoes and a high-visibility jacket. PPE must fit well and needs to be task-specific, as any distraction can quickly become a safety hazard.
Be aware of the forklift load capacity and distribution
Never exceed a forklift loading capacity, as this can quickly lead to an accident. When buying a forklift or renting one, observe the maximum load for the forklift and any attachments. Read more about why this is especially important before buying or renting a forklift here.
Be safe when you refuel
There must be a designated area for refuelling on your premises. A designated fuel area helps avoid fuel spillages happening in several places. Ensure the forklift engine is off before refuelling and ensure the designated area is well ventilated and away from any possible open flames.
Maintain high visibility at all times
Good visibility is key to avoiding accidents. If an operator cannot see their load, the route ahead, or the unloading destination, they must immediately stop operating the forklift. Using guesswork while operating a forklift will inevitably result in an accident.
Know the forklift class
At Toyota Forklift, we have many different forklift types and classifications. Every model has its own specifications such as weight limit, turning radius, travelling speed and mast height. You have to know your equipment to follow safety practices adequately. If you are unsure about this, reach out to our team who will assist you to identify the right forklift type based on your operational needs.
Make sure loads are secure
Check the loads are stable prior to attempting to lift or move a load or stack. Increase the equipment’s stability by travelling with the load tilted backwards and keeping the forks as low as possible. You can also use ropes to secure stacks and heavy loads.
Move at an appropriate speed
Adhere to designated speed limits. Do not change direction suddenly or make sudden sharp turns, as these actions could cause the forklift to tip over.
At Toyota Forklifts and via our partner, EIE Group, we have an array of forklifts available for sale or rent. Our value-added services under our Toyota Industrial Equipment division assist with safety which includes forklift load testing, engineering workshops, product training, repair workshops and more! Read more about our full service offering here.
Contact us today
Reach out to us and contact us today. We here to assist you with your material handling equipment and forklift needs. Alternatively complete the contact form below and we will contact you.