Forklifts, despite their many benefits, are far too often the causes of serious and even deadly accidents. These machines are sometimes easily underestimated in terms of the damage they’re capable of and the challenge operating one requires.
Preventing and avoiding these dangers should be a priority in any warehouse or factory where they’re being used. With a proper understanding of safety guidelines and precautions, the chances of an accident reduces substantially. However, it’s also worth finding alternatives to traditional, manually operated forklift systems. Overall, avoiding dangerous forklift accidents requires an understanding of how to maintain and operate both your workspace and truck.
Create a Work Environment That Facilitates Forklift Usage
It’s important not only to create safe working conditions but also to create an environment that is made with forklift usage in mind. Forklifts will not adapt to an area; they have very strict and standard methods of operation to ensure safety, and every facet of a workplace that intends to use them should respect this. Careful consideration should be placed into where exactly a forklift will be operating, the distance it will be traveling and the manner in which loads will be stored. This includes, but is not limited to:
Ramps and grades: The less a forklift has to navigate such terrain, the better. Care and attention should be placed into what necessary rules go into driving a load-bearing truck up and down different inclines, as these are easily the cause of most tilts.
Narrow aisles and enclosed areas: Though forklifts can be very maneuverable, this should never be taken for granted. It should alwaysforklift safety, avoid forklift accidents, safety sign, forklift safety sign be a goal to create an environment that allows for a truck to get to different points easily and effectively with little need for difficult turns and tight areas.
Foot traffic: Forklifts should ideally have their own spaces in a workplace. Keeping these areas as separate as possible from where a lot of workers will be on their feet will help to cut down on potential accidents and will hopefully prevent and discourage any types of inappropriate use.
Making sure that a truck is in perfectly working order should be the first step before it’s operated. This should be done with a mandatory pre-operational inspection that includes:
Checking the condition of the fork section, making sure it’s free from any damage, warps or distortions
Making sure all hydraulics are working smoothly and are free from any leaks
Inspecting all weld seams for cracks
Testing all safety equipment such as seatbelts, horns, lights and emergency brakes
Inspecting the condition of the tires and rims
Post-operational inspections should always conclude with a brief but attentive test of the truck’s functions.
Safe Forklift Practice
Aside from making sure that the truck is in working order, there are a variety of factors to keep in mind while operating the forklift to best ensure safety.
As always, you’ll want to make sure that loads made up of smaller boxes and items are properly wrapped so that they don’t fall off of the fork during transport. The fork section itself should be kept low to the ground, preferably four to six inches, since this will help to keep the center of gravity low and make a tilt less likely. Additionally, loads should always be transported with fork in a reverse tilt position, as this is more stable.
The potential dangers a forklift can cause are very real and should be taken seriously. Accidents from navigating tight corners can result in people being seriously hurt from falling loads, orforklift safety, proper loading of forklifts, dangers of forklifts, forklift safety from the truck itself. Improperly balanced or unwrapped loads can also pose the risk of falling and injuring the driver or those around the forklift. Loading bays in particular can be extremely dangerous as they’re often elevated from the ground; it is not uncommon to see loads or a truck itself tip or fall off a loading bay, potentially causing major or fatal injuries.
Automated Guidance Vehicles: A Safer Alternative?
It’s very much worth investigating if automated guidance vehicles, or AVGs, can work as a suitable replacement for a manually driven forklift. These trucks not only help to remove a lot of human error out of the equation, but they also allow for a more versatile workspace that mightautomated guided vehicles, agvs, agv, forklift working alongside agv, seegrid flexible agv, safety of flexible agv, safety of agvs prove challenging to navigate manually; additionally, many of them can be taken off of their guide-path if manual operation is needed for certain jobs.
Overall, the precision of automated forklifts combined with the lack of a human driver can make an operation run much safer and even more efficient. Safety precautions should still be taken, like with any forklift, but they become less stressful and the chance of a serious or deadly accident is cut down drastically.