So you’ve finally got your forklift licence and now you’re ready for your first job! But perhaps it has been a while since you have actually operated a forklift (the last time being at your licence test). So here is a quick refresher guide to the best way to operate your forklift safely – for your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your onsite colleagues as well.
Picking out your outfit
Wear “hi-vis” all the way! The more you are seen the better, so don’t be shy about safety. Make sure your outfit fits comfortably snug as you don’t want loose clothing getting stuck to the machine. Top it off with a hardhat and safety shoes!
Before jumping on board
Do a routine check of your equipment – look for faults in brakes, steering, controls, warning devices, mast and tyres. And alert management of the machine if something doesn’t seem right. Also consider the pathway and landing place of where you are taking the load before picking it up. Is there a clear path? Are there obstacles that can get in the way? And can you stack your load safely in the landing spot. Also ensure that your hands are free from grease, as you don’t want them to slip from the wheel, control leavers or buttons while you are operating the forklift.
Starting up the machine
Climb aboard the forklift and make use of all the steps and handles on the vehicle for optimal boarding. Adjust the seat position so that the machine’s controls are in comfortable reach, as well as adjust the mirrors to your visual field. Once you are entirely inside the vehicle and your seatbelt is buckled, start up the forklift.
Operating the forklift
Follow workplace rules and guidelines and only drive in designated roadways. Take note of signs in the workplace that indicate permitted floor loadings, clearance heights as well as the size and weight of your load. Keep away from edges of the road, dock or ramp to minimise your risk from falling over the edge.
Operate at a safe speed at all times and never exceed speed limits. Avoid bumps; uneven surfaces and slippery conditions as well as keeping away from loose ground objects. Optimise your horn to alert others in the area that you are moving into their space. If visibility is poor, do not continue driving – ask for assistance to help you navigate.
And finally, secure your load! Ensure the load is tilted back and the forks are sitting as close to the ground as possible when transporting loads.
These are just a few of the hazards and elements to look out for in the workplace. While knowing about these risks and guidelines are a good start, there’s nothing better than the forklift training that you did to implant these important safety tip to not only your brain but the rest of your body as well. If you’re still unsure of the training you received, do not hesitate to ask another forklift training school in Melbourne for well-versed advice.