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Showing posts with label Forklift Safety. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Forklift Safety. Show all posts

Forklift Safety Rules

Forklift Safety Rules

Forklifts are excellent labor saving devices. They save time and reduce the likelihood of injury associated with manual material handling activities. However, forklifts can become very dangerous if operated by a reckless or untrained operator. All operators should receive safety training prior to being allowed to operate a forklift.

Forklift accidents tend to be very serious, involving both personal injury and damage to property. These accidents can be avoided if operators use some common sense and follow safe operating procedures. Do not operate a forklift until you have been properly trained and authorized to do so.

Basic Forklift Safety Practices 
Here are a few common safety rules to follow during forklift operation:
  1. Use the seat belt. It will keep you secured in the seat in the unplanned event of a tip over.
  2. A parked forklift should have the forks flat on the floor with the controls set to neutral and with the parking brake set.
  3. A forklift is considered to be "unattended" if the operator is more than 25 feet away or if the forklift is out of the direct vision of the operator. Unattended forklifts should be parked with the power turned off.
  4. When operating the forklift on inclines, the load should always be on the uphill side of the incline. Drive forward going up the incline. Drive backward going down the incline.
  5. When traveling without a load on the forks, keep the forks approximately four to six inches off the floor.
  6. Never allow anyone to walk underneath a raised load.
  7. Stop at all blind corners to check for other traffic in the area. This includes other forklifts and pedestrians. Honk your horn and look before you proceed.
  8. If carrying a tall load that blocks your forward vision, drive in reverse and turn your head so you can see where you are going.
  9. If operating around other forklifts maintain a three-forklift length distance between forklifts and never attempt passing.
  10. Never drive a forklift up to the back of a person who is unaware that the forklift is behind them.

Workplace Conditions: That Can Lead to Forklift Accidents

Workplace Conditions

That Can Lead to Forklift Accidents

Surface or ground conditions are an important part of safe powered industrial truck operation. In today's Advisor we focus on hazardous conditions in your workplace that can lead to forklift accidents.
Physical conditions in the workplace that can lead to forklift accidents include slippery conditions, obstructions and uneven surfaces, flooring and load limits, overhead clearances, and ramps and grades.

Slippery Conditions

  • Danger of skidding when traveling on oil, grease, water or other spills
  • Danger of tip over when traveling on ice, snow, mud, gravel and uneven areas
Safe Practices
  • Avoid the hazardous surface when feasible.
  • Spread absorbent material on slick areas that you cannot avoid.
  • Cross the slippery area 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 the oil or grease spill before proceeding (driving over an oil or grease spot will enlarge the hazardous area).

Obstructions and Uneven Surfaces

  • Danger of tip over when traveling over obstructions
  • Danger of tip over in holes and bumps
Safe Practices
  • Keep all aisles clear.
  • Watch out for overhead obstructions.
  • Avoid the obstruction 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.

Flooring and Load Limits

  • Danger of collapsing floor
Safe Practices
  • Observe posted floor loading limits.
  • Inspect the condition of the floor. Look for holes or weakened flooring, loose objects or obstructions, protruding nails or boards.
  • Inform a supervisor immediately if flooring is defective.
  • Do not travel over a surface that cannot support the weight of the lift truck, its load, and its operator.
  • Do not enter a boxcar or semi-van without inspecting its floor and knowing its load limits.

Overhead Clearances

  • Danger of tip over
  • Damage to lights, stacks, doors, sprinklers, pipes
  • Damage to load
Safe Practices
  • Be aware of the height of fixtures.
  • Don't travel with loads elevated.

Ramps and Grades

  • Danger of tip over
  • Damage to load
Safe Practices
  • Always look in the direction of travel.
  • Never turn on a ramp or incline. Turn prior to the ramp or incline to place forks in proper direction.
  • Keep a safe distance from the edge of a ramp.
  • Do not travel on ramps with slopes or other conditions that exceed the manufacturer's recommendation.
  • When traveling with a load, make sure the load points up the incline, regardless of the direction of travel.
  • When traveling without a load, make sure the load points down the grade, regardless of the direction of travel.

Worker Safety and Forklift Maintenance

Worker Safety and Forklift Maintenance

Topic: Forklifts

Additional Training for Forklift Maintenance Workers

Some topics are specific to forklifts, but other forklift maintenance hazards are covered by different OSHA standards. Employees who are exposed to these hazards while working on forklifts may require additional training under the standards noted by OSHA below:
  • Exhaust hazards. Workers should know how to use adequate ventilation to protect themselves against gasoline, diesel, or LPG exhaust (29 CFR 1910.94, Ventilation)
  • Hazardous energy. Maintenance workers should keep control of the forklift’s ignition key while they work. Also, they should disconnect the battery before working on the electrical system. Blocking raised parts and elevated equipment are another topic they may need training in (29 CFR 1910.147, Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout)).
  • Wheel hazards. Workers who service forklift wheels may need training under 29 CFR 1910.177, Servicing Single-Piece and Multi-Piece Rim Wheels.
  • Asbestos. During brake and clutch repairs, workers may be exposed to asbestos (29 CFR 1910.1001, Asbestos).
  • Compressed gases. LPG is a compressed gas. Compressed gas hazards are covered under 29 CFR 1910 Subpart H, Hazardous Materials.
  • Eye, face, hand, and body hazards. To protect against some chemical exposures, cut and abrasion hazards, and falling object hazards, workers may need PPE (29 CFR 1910 Subpart I, Personal Protective Equipment).
  • Fire hazards. Because maintenance work may involve fire hazards, workers should know how to use a fire extinguisher (29 CFR 1910 Subpart L, Fire Protection).
  • Welding hazards. If repairs involve welding operations, workers will need training under 29 CFR 1910 Subpart Q, Welding, Cutting and Brazing.

Work Locations

Forklift repairs must take place in locations that are specifically designed to perform the necessary tasks safely. Make sure that workers have:
  • A location free of fire hazards. Repairing forklifts in hazardous (Class I, II, or III) locations. In particular, repairs to the fuel or ignition system of a forklift may only be made in an area with no uncontrolled fire hazards.
  • Emergency equipment. Because forklift repairs can involve fire hazards, fire extinguishers must be provided. Because liquid chemical hazards may be present, emergency eyewashes and showers must also be located in the work area.
Forklift training requirements are extensive, and it can be confusing to try to figure out exactly which requirements apply to which workers.

4-Step Forklift Walkaround Inspection

4-Step Forklift Walka round Inspection

Do your employees know how to conduct a walk around as part of a pre-operational forklift inspection?

The first step toward safe forklift operation is conducting the per-operational inspection. Forklift operators should conduct the inspection at the start of each work shift to ensure that the forklift will work properly.
According to OSHA, 1 in 15 forklift-related accidents are caused by improper maintenance. A thorough per-operational inspection will identify maintenance problems before they cause an accident.
Operators should follow your preoperational inspection checklist—not skipping any items—and then complete and sign the checklist.
The preoperational inspection begins with a four-step walkaround:
  • First, the operator makes sure the forklift is properly disengaged with the forks down, the key turned off, and the forklift set in neutral with the parking brake on.
  • Second, the operator walks to either side of the forklift—checks the tires, making sure there are no gouges, tears, or imbedded metal, and that there is proper inflation; checks lug nuts; makes sure the axle is greased; checks the overhead guard, and sees that there is no debris lodged behind the mast.
  • Third, the operator checks the front of the forklift—the forks and hoses should be in good condition; fork pins should be in place; the backrest should be solid; and the mast and chains should be greased.
  • Fourth, the operator walks to the rear of the forklift—checks that the counterbalance bolt is tight, and the radiator is clear of debris and is not leaking.

Ensure Safe Forklift Operations

Forklifts possess unique capabilities that when matched to a given job can accomplish tasks efficiently and effectively. But if this equipment is used in an unsafe manner, the hazards far outweigh those benefits.

Ensuring safe forklift operation is increasingly difficult what with the advent of myriad distractions for drivers, including cell phones, ipods, and other electronic devices. Also, pedestrians are becoming increasingly distracted by such devices, too.

It’s imperative to ensure that your forklift safety program addresses emerging distractions like these, as well as traditional forklift safety issues. Plus, organizations should weigh whether it makes sense to invest in GPS tracking and telemetry to improve overall safety and incident reduction for their forklift fleet.


6 Situations That Can Tip a Forklift—And How to Control Them

6 Situations That Can Tip a Forklift—And How to Control Them

Topic: Forklifts

Prevent deadly forklift tipover accidents by ensuring operators are properly trained to recognize hazardous situations and circumstances.
Antonio Toro was preparing to move large bundles of steel at a flood control project. As he positioned his forklift, it tipped, pinning him. By the time emergency responders reached him, Toro was dead.
Forklifts are designed to lift and move heavy loads. The forklifts themselves must be heavy to prevent them from falling forward when the load is lifted. Forklifts also tend to be small and narrow to navigate tight workspaces.
Being small, narrow, and heavier than they look can be a recipe for tipping if workers are not careful.
Tipover accidents are more likely in certain situations and circumstances. Make sure your workers know their specific truck, terrain, and load, and take precautions to prevent tipovers.

1. Inadequately Secured Loads

A load that is not secured can shift, tipping the lift. Workers must know:
  • Not to move the truck until the load is secure. The load-engaging device must be placed in a manner that securely holds or supports the load.
  • Not to tilt the load-engaging means forward while the forks are elevated, unless they are picking up a load. An elevated load also must not be tilted forward unless it’s being deposited.
  • How to use attachments. If the truck is equipped with attachments, special precautions may be required for securing loads and for operating the truck after the load has been removed.

2. Overloaded Forklifts

Loading a forklift beyond its rated capacity can cause the lift to tip. Make sure workers never exceed the forklift’s rated capacity. The rated capacity of all industrial forklifts must be prominently displayed on the vehicle at all times, in a location where the operator can easily see it.
Besides observing the forklift’s rated capacity, operators should heed the rated capacity of the work surface (floor, ramp, dockplate, or other operating surface).

3. Poorly Selected Forklifts

Using the wrong truck for the terrain can cause a lift to tip. Make sure workers know not to use a forklift designed for use on smooth concrete in areas with rough terrain.

4. Traveling or Parking on a Grade

A forklift is more likely to tip on a grade than on a flat surface. Make sure workers know that:
  • On grades greater than 10 percent, loaded trucks must be driven with the load upgrade, except for motorized hand and hand/rider trucks, which should be operated on all grades with the load downgrade.
  • On all grades, they should raise the load only as far as necessary to clear the road surface and should tilt the load-engaging means back if possible.
  • They should avoid turning on a grade.

5. Alterations to the Forklift

Alterations to a forklift can change the lift’s capacity and handling characteristics, including its susceptibility to tipover. Make sure workers know that no alterations may be made to a truck that will:
  • Change the relative positions of the various parts from the manufacturer’s original positions;
  • Add parts not provided by the manufacturer;
  • Eliminate parts provided by the manufacturer; or
  • Add counter weighting, unless approved by the manufacturer.

6. Poorly Marked Aisles

Forklifts often tip or roll over the side of a ramp, dock plate, or loading dock.
Make sure markings are present and clearly visible at edges of loading docks and other areas where forklifts could roll off, along with other precautions such as guardrails and chains.
Operators must also take special care when moving from bright to dim light, which can blind them just long enough for them to miss visual cues.

Forklift Safety Training:- Who Needs Forklift Training

Forklift Safety Training:- Who Needs Forklift Training

Topic: Workplace Safety
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) takes forklift safety very seriously. In fact, they’ve beefed up the standard to include very specific operator training requirements.
OSHA’s standard on Powered Industrial Trucks has specific requirements for operator training (29 CFR 1910.178 (l)(2)(ii)) that require a combination of formal training (classroom, videos, etc.) with practical instruction, as well as an evaluation and certification process. The standard says that only those who are already competent operators can provide this training, and also specifies a long list of required training topics.

Once trained, operators need refresher training and evaluation at least every 3 years (29 CFR 1910.178(l)(4)(iii)); more often for operators that have a record of accidents or near-misses. And speaking of near misses: Don’t take them lightly! Use them as an opportunity for formal or informal safety training so the “real thing” doesn't happen at your facility. Trainers should refer to the OSHA standard to make sure all the required subject matter is covered. However, make sure all your employees take forklift safety seriously, too.

While it’s true that only employees with specific training can operate a forklift, any employees who work around forklifts should know the basics of safe operation and maintenance and how to avoid getting hurt accidentally. So it’s good practice to conduct a “basic forklift safety” session for anyone who might be affected by forklifts. Even experienced, trained operators can benefit from refresher training in basic forklift safety.

Forklifts are heavy machines that can seriously injure or kill people; they’re not like mini-cars in an amusement park. Remind employees that forklifts can topple over, collide with objects (and people), and drop heavy loads. As well, they present a possible fire and explosion hazard when being refueled.

Also review these basics of forklift safety:
  • Never exceed the rated load capacity.
  • Make sure the load is balanced on the forks.
  • Never ride as a passenger on a forklift.
  • Never stand under the forks when they’re raised.
  • Never smoke when the forklift is being refueled.
Finally, encourage all employees to be on the lookout for possible forklift safety hazards, including unsafe operation or maintenance problems, and to report any such hazards to a supervisor as soon as possible.

7 Safety Training Tips for Forklifts on Rough Terrain

7 Safety Training Tips for Forklifts on Rough Terrain

Topic: Workplace Safety

Rough terrain forklifts require the right operators to handle them and misuse can lead to serious accidents. The workhorses are designed to handle heavy loads and operate on challenging terrain.
Most rough terrain forklift accidents are caused by operator error. The right training procedures can help your employees understand how to carefully operate the equipment to prevent serious accidents.
The three most common types of accidents on rough terrain are:
  1. Rollovers
  2. Tipovers
  3. Collisions
And what causes the accidents? The culprits are:
  • Slopes
  • Dips, holes, and trenches
  • Narrow aisles
  • Ground and overhead obstructions

Discuss Hazards Beforehand

One of the most important things to do is to hold a training session with your employees before they drive on the rough terrain. Discuss the hazards so they know what can occur if they do not practice the right safety habits when driving their forklifts. While the vehicles do move slowly, you can end up with serious problems if you do not load them correctly, and you can end up driving too quickly with the load.
1. Improve Visibility. It is important to keep the windows clean and to make sure people can see when they are driving the forklift. Do they need to wear glasses? Vision testing can help ensure you have people who can see accurately when they drive the forklift. Not having a clear line of sight when driving can easily cause an accident.

2. Failure to Pay Attention. How often do you find yourself dozing off when you are working? Employees often end up failing to pay attention when they work long hours or they do the same job several times. A routine can end up causing people to get careless on their job, which can lead to wrecks. Inattention while driving is something that you need to address as it costs the company thousands of dollars if an accident occurs.

3. Failure to Yield to Other Vehicles. Some wrecks occur when people fail to yield to other vehicles. If you hit something with a rough terrain forklift, it can end up causing major damage to the forklift and the other vehicle, not to mention the drivers. Not only do drivers need to yield to other vehicles, they need to be aware of the pedestrians who cross their paths.

4. Overloading. If your forklift is overloaded, it can cause it to tip to the side when you turn or when you are near a steep edge. Overloading the machine can be hazardous when you are trying to drive the machine forward as it is easy for the machine to be pushed to the side.

5. Misjudging Terrain. People often drive the machine on rough terrain and assume the forklift will be able to handle anything. While the machine is designed to work on rough terrain, it isn’t always set to work on all types of terrain. Misjudging terrain is something that can end up leading to serious accidents.

6. Failure to Inspect the Forklift. If a forklift is not inspected and serviced properly, it could end up with major problems. It is important to have the machine correctly maintained and inspected so it operates at its highest capability.

7. Improper Loading or Unloading. Another major reason accidents occur is because of improper loading and unloading of the forklift. A rough terrain forklift is set up to deal with a number of weights and loads, but the operator is the key component who focuses on keeping everyone safe and the machine safe and reliable.

Keys to Forklift Maintenance

Keys to Forklift Maintenance

Topic: Forklifts

When it comes to forklift safety, a lot of emphasis is placed on operators and their training. But maintenance is also critical to forklift safety—and workers who perform forklift repairs and maintenance face hazards that must be addressed with worker training and attention to the work environment.

Identifying Maintenance Issues

There are two ways to identify a forklift that is in need of maintenance.
  • Daily inspections. Forklift operators are required to inspect forklifts before each shift, for forklifts that are in continuous use. These daily inspections are supposed to identify issues that require attention.
  • Malfunctions during use. Sometimes an issue arises while the forklift is in use—the forklift may overheat or dramatically malfunction (sparks or flames coming from the exhaust are one possible example).
Make sure that operators who have identified a potential safety issue with a forklift know to take it out of service immediately until it is repaired.

Training for Forklift Maintenance Workers

Only “authorized” persons may make repairs to and perform maintenance on forklifts. A worker’s authorization may be only for a specific task, such as refueling or battery replacement. Training requirements for workers who perform forklift maintenance are found in the Powered Industrial Trucks Standard, 29 CFR 1910.178, in paragraphs (f), (g), and (q).
  • Fuel handling and storage (1910.178(f)). Workers must know how to properly handle and store fuels. Specifically:
    • Liquid fuels (gasoline and diesel fuel) must be stored and handled in accordance with NFPA Flammable and Combustible Liquids Code (NFPA No. 30-1969).
    • Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) fuel must be stored and handled in accordance with NFPA Storage and Handling of Liquefied Petroleum Gases (NFPA No. 58-1969).
  • Changing and charging storage batteries (1910.178(g)). Workers who change and charge storage batteries must know:
    • To properly position trucks and apply brakes, before attempting to change or charge batteries;
    • Not to pour water into acid;
    • To assure that vent caps are functioning and that battery (or compartment) cover(s) are open to dissipate heat;
    • Not to smoke in the charging area;
    • To take precautions against open flames, sparks, or electric arcs in battery charging areas; and
    • To keep tools and other metallic objects away from the top of uncovered batteries.
  • Maintenance of Industrial Trucks (1910.178(q)). Forklift maintenance workers should know, at a minimum:
    • To repair the fuel and ignition systems of industrial trucks only in locations designated for such repairs;
    • To disconnect the batteries of trucks before repairing electrical systems;
    • To only use replacement parts that are equivalent with respect to safety to the truck’s original parts;
    • Not to alter industrial trucks so that the relative positions of the various parts are different from what they were originally;
    • Not to add extra parts not provided by the manufacturer without the manufacturer’s approval; and
    • Not to eliminate parts without manufacturer’s approval.

Safety Tips: Do’s and Don’ts - Forklift



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Daily checks of fork lifts.

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Safety Tips: Forklift: 13 Safety Measures



13 safety measures one must follow when handling loads with a forklift:

  1. Center the load as much as possible. When you have to handle off-center loads, distribute the heaviest part of the load nearest the front wheels of the forklift.

  2. Follow the load capacity of the forklift. Never overload.

  3. Never move fast or turn too rapidly when approaching a load.

  4. Make sure the forklift is placed squarely in front of the load, without being too close or too far from it. A distance of 20 to 30 cm (8 to 12 inches) is just right.

  5. When approaching the load, ensure that the forks are raised at the correct height and the direction control is set to neutral.

  6. Never raise or lower the forks unless the forklift is stopped and the brake is set.

  7. Make sure there is enough overhead clearance before raising the load. Be more cautious when raising loads under pipes, lights, sprinkler systems, etc.

  8. Be extra careful when tilting loads. Never tilt forward with forks elevated except when picking up or depositing the load.

  9. Never tilt the load forward while traveling since this reduces the stability of the load.

  10. Adjust the forks to make sure the weight of the load is centered between them. You can adjust the forks either manually or with a fork positioner.

  11. When lifting the load, make sure it is about 10 cm (4 inches) above the lower stack.

  12. Before lowering the load, return the mast to the vertical position.

  13. When lowering the load, ensure that its lowest point is 15 to 20 cm (6 to 8 inches) from the floor.

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