Top 7 Forklift Operation Mistakes

Caution, Watch out for forklift signForklifts can be an essential component of company success — helping your workforce get the job done in less time, and for less money. However, if forklift operation mistakes happen, a business can be crippled, and lives could even be in danger.

Forklift drivers need to remain up to date on their forklift training and education, ensuring they know the best ways to protect themselves and their workplaces. No matter how long drivers have been working in the field, they must keep their knowledge fresh and their skills sharp. To prevent common forklift injuries, here are a few of the most common forklift operation mistakes that drivers should keep at the top of their minds.


1. Not knowing load capacity

Check your forklift’s capacity before any operations, a figure that should be listed on the truck’s data plate. If a truck is loaded over-capacity, it is at a high risk of instability, which could cause it to turn over.


2. Unsecured load

Each load needs to be secured differently, depending on the size, shape, and weight. Pay close attention to loads with irregular shapes, as they could topple.


3. Lack of inspection

Forklifts need to be inspected regularly by professionals, in compliance with state and federal laws. Inspections should be documented, and any issues promptly addressed. Operating a forklift that hasn’t been properly inspected could lead to malfunctions that put the safety of the entire workforce at risk.


4. Speeding

This is one of the most common causes of workplace accidents. Pay attention to speed limits and speed bumps and stay alert and aware of your surroundings to avoid incidents.


5. Poor communication

Forklift operators need to pay attention to what’s going on around their vehicle and communicate with their fellow workers. Know where each worker will be, and tell all workers where you will be working, is essential to avoiding an accident.


6. Inadequate power

If a vehicle’s battery is low or the lift runs out of hydraulic fluids midway through the job, that could pose a serious danger, as a vehicle could break down in the middle of a location where it’s not supposed to be stationary.


7. Misuse of vehicle

Drivers must observe proper protocol in all aspects of forklift operation. Apart from safe operations, it’s also important to know the forklift’s route and be aware of any obstacles and consider factors like wearing proper footwear, to reduce the risk of a slip and fall.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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