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Forklift Hazards and Risks: How to Identify & Prevent Them?

How to identify and prevent forklift hazards and risks? All steps should be examined including before, during and after the operation of the equipment. This way almost all factors would be accounted for.

Before driving the equipment

First, only authorised drivers should be allowed access to forklifts. Aside from accountability, this ensures that only trained personnel are using the material handling equipment.

Once authorised drivers are ready, they should then refer to a pre-shift safety checklist. This includes both visual and practical checks such as inspection of the following:

  • Forks
  • Tyres
  • Lights
  • Windscreen and mirrors
  • Hydraulics
  • Safety belt
  • Brakes
  • Steering

The specific items and procedures can be modified according to the requirements of the warehouse and operations. The checklist can be on paper or more conveniently and more reliably with the use of EquipManager (with configurable pre-shift safety checklist).

During operation

Once the operator has gone through the checklist, it’s now time to practice safe and proper driving through the aisles and different areas of the warehouse. Safe and proper driving usually depends on the following:

  • Designation of low-speed areas (e.g. people-dense areas)
  • Low speed when forklifts are approaching corners and when driving in narrow aisles
  • Alert systems to warn other personnel that the forklift is approaching
  • Real-time monitoring on impacts and workplace accidents

Even with a thorough manual on safe driving, accidents are still bound to occur. Good news is that these can still be minimised or acted upon. This is possible by having an ImpactManager that detects and records impact details. The data gathered can then be later analysed to avoid the same event from happening again.

After the shift

This is also crucial because many of the workplace accidents occur because of forklifts improperly parked. There are accidental movements that even resulted to workers being pinned by the forklifts.

That’s why measures should still be present even after the shift (or when operations are temporarily halted). Forklifts should only be parked in approved locations. Aside from safety, this ensures that the forklift won’t be an obstruction to others’ tasks. The forks and load should also be lowered. These might accidentally fall or lowered down and cause damage to the goods and injuries to people nearby.

How to minimise forklift hazards and risks

It’s often a combination of effective management and technological tools. Here at ShockWatch, we provide modern and reliable technological solutions to improve warehouse safety. We have tools that can be mounted on the forklifts for better monitoring and safety.

Contact us today and tell us your requirements. We can then send you excellent recommendations just as we did for dozens of small businesses and multi-national corporations.