When operating a forklift the smallest safety hazards like slippery conditions, obstructions, uneven surfaces, and overhead clearances can be very dangerous. You can slip on the smallest oil spill anywhere in a work space and it could turn out to be a pretty bad accident. There are a couple dangers that come with slippery conditions like skidding when traveling on oil, grease, water, or other spills. Be aware of the dangers of tip overs when traveling on ice, snow, mud, gravel and uneven areas. Here are some best practices that you should follow when operating a forklift to avoid and prevent serious injuries from slippery conditions:
• Avoid the hazardous surface when feasible
• Spread absorbent material on slick areas that you cannot avoid.
• Cross over slippery areas slowly and cautiously
• Report the area to prevent others from slipping
• Post a sign or warning cones until the area can be cleaned
• Drive slowly!
• Maintain contact with the ground by crossing uneven areas at an angle
• Clean up oil or grease spills before proceeding; driving over an oil or grease spot will enlarge the hazardous area.
Obstructions and uneven surfaces can cause damage to equipment and employees. There are some best practices to follow in order to avoid serious injuries or damage to equipment:
• Keep aisles clear
• Watch out for overhead obstructions
• Avoid the obstructions or get off the forklift and remove the obstruction
• NEVER drive straight across speed bumps or railroad tracks. Cross slowly at a 45 degree angle.
• Maintain steering control by keeping contact with the ground at all times
• If an area is cluttered, walk the route first to spot problems
Inadequate overhead clearance can cause a lot of problems. It can create a lot of damage to lights, product, doors, sprinklers, pipes, loads, and lead to a forklift tip over if you aren’t careful. You always want to be aware of overhead height clearance, fixtures and not travel with loads elevated. Forklift safety is very important; workers are killed each year as a result of forklift accidents. A lot of these fatalities are caused by overturning and the small things that we overlook. Other common causes are workers struck by a forklift, workers struck by material, and workers falling from a forklift. Operating a forklift is not as simple as it looks. Safety comes first so next time you think about leaving a little oil spill down on the ground or in your work area, take 60 seconds of your time to think about the possible outcomes of just leaving it there, then get busy cleaning it up.