Forklift is a vehicle that uses a fork to lift and move the material. Forklift movement is essential where frequent movement of load is required from one place to another. There are certain hazards associated with this movement that require attention for loss prevention and control. Here’s a look at the major hazards and the control measures required to be taken in order to reduce the risk: -
Speed: - The speed of the forklift may be defined. The operators often argue that the speed of the forklift is not so high that it may cause damage however the area inwhich they operate is not a highway. In the limited space, even the speed of 20 km/hr may appear 40 km/hr.
Convex Mirrors for Safety: - Around the blind curves or other hindrances the installation of convex mirrors helps to know the person of any incoming movement. Additionally the forklift drivers need to be trained enough to blow horn in all such areas to make the people aware of the movement.
Material Lifting: - Lifting the material with the help of forklift requires proper training and procedure. Procedures shall be defined for lifting and movement of material for example moving hazardous and flammable material, position of fork while lifting and moving the material, maximum lift height, and movement on slope etc.
Training and Licensing: - Forklift results into serious impact damages. The worst case scenario couldbe when it causes damage to structural support members or firefighting equipment. To ensure this, training programs may be scheduled and only the authorized drivers may be allowed to drive the forklifts.
Barricading: - Installation of guards to safeguard against the probable impact damage. Members to be protected may include the structural support members, electrical fittings, equipment machinery and firefighting installations against impact damage.
Horn/Reverse Horn/Lights: - Safe operation of forklift requires adequate fittings. Each forklift driver requires horn/reverse horn for pedestrian safety and lights in working condition for the driver to visualize the pathway.
Speed Breakers: - As far as possible the route of the forklift should be free of speed breakers. If in case there are some, the driver should be trained and made aware particularly regarding those areas.
It is not only the duty of the safety officer to ensure the safe working condition of the lifting and moving equipments. It is everyone’s responsibility to coordinate and work safely. Before working with such equipment it may be ensured that the safe work procedures are well understood to minimize the chances of incidents.