Checking your Fork Truck for Safety
A fork truck, like any industrial equipment, must be utilized carefully. Not like a car, a fork truck is steered from the rear wheel and thus has a different center of balance. Anybody operating a fork truck and everybody working in the vicinity of this machine needs to understand workplace safety guidelines and safe operating procedures.
Safe operation of a fork truck initially involves checking the truck before utilizing it. Operators must inspect for potential dangers such as worn tires and fuel leaks. The lifts, forks and the overhead guard must be thoroughly checked. The safety handle must be used only when the forklift is being mounted.
The lights, horns and alarms must be tested to guarantee that they are operating properly. Monitors and gauges should be adjusted properly. Safety belt should be fastened and seat adjusted before starting the truck.
Taking careful turns and choosing a lower rate of speed would help the operator avoid tipping the machine. If the load blocks the vision of the driver, the truck should be driven in reverse gear. Always be alert of the location of any pedestrians and obstacles when driving.
The operator must always sit within the cage enclosure and keep all parts of the body in the vehicle so as to prevent any possibility of injury. The forks must be kept a few inches above the ground when driving. Never raise or lower lifts while you are driving or the truck could become unstable. Never permit anybody to walk under lift when the engines are running.
Stopping at intersections and watching for approaching traffic are basics for driving safely. It is really a good idea to sound the horn periodically and before proceeding when operating within aisles. That way, you would alert any approaching person to your presence.