What Safety Hazards to Look Out for During Forklift Operation?

Though forklifts may be incredibly useful, they are sometimes dangerous to work with. They are ideal for onsite operations to move material from one place to another and lift heavy loads. As such, due to the nature of their functioning, there are significant chances of an accident occurring. Even though the number of forklift-related accidents has reduced drastically since the last century, there still occur hundreds, if not thousands, of forklift accidents worldwide annually. It is because of organizations such as the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and smarter as well as safer forklift designs, such as the designs of http://hamptonchristianchurch.com/?risen_staff=gary-jones Moffett piggyback forklifts that operators are now at less risk than ever before. After all, safety is the number one concern for all fleet managers, operators and business owners alike since a safe working environment means better performance and higher returns.

As such, it is essential for any forklift operator and other staff members to be aware of the safety hazards that exist during forklift functioning. Though many people may think they, are aware of all the potential dangers that tag along with forklift operations, yet there are many hidden or not so obvious safety hazards that may be detrimental to the safety of the crew and ultimately the business. The OSHA estimates that there are over 100,000 forklift-related injuries every year with at least 35,000 of them being serious or fatal and 63,000 being non-serious. So let us look at some of the safety hazards for the working crew to look out for while onsite with forklifts.

1.    Forklift maneuvering

Forklift is essentially a cargo and load-lifting machine; therefore, it is not exactly ideal in terms of its design for maneuvering small spaces and tight corners in factories and warehouses. The turning radius for a forklift is, in fact, wider at the back than it is at the front since the conventional counterbalance forklift has a counterbalancing weight at the back to cancel out the effect of the load on the forks at the front.

As such, any pedestrians or spotters who might be helping the driver navigate these narrow spaces are in danger of encountering collision by the rear end of the forklift if they are unaware of its wide turning radius. Nevertheless, newer and more sophisticated forklifts such as the buy prednisone 5mg Moffett fork trucks mitigate this danger largely by providing excellent maneuvering capabilities in tight and narrow spaces.

2.    Forklift Stability

Perhaps the most common cause of forklift accidents is the forklift tipping over due to instability. This instability is often because of the combined center of gravity of the forklift and the load moves out of the “Triangle of Stability” which is where the forklift maintains its balance. If the load on the forks is heavier than the counterbalance at the back, the forklift will tip forward. On the other hand, if the operator accelerates a forklift down a slope with a load on the forks, he is again in danger of tipping the forklift over.

Stability might also be an issue if an operator keeps the forks raised while carrying a load, which makes the center of gravity higher for the load and the forklift as well, thus increasing chances of tip over. Moffett forklifts eliminate this danger largely by providing better stability for operators with the use of hydraulic stabilizers. Though review used Moffett forklifts may have malfunctioning stabilizers, which is ever riskier, that is why is it is important to buy them from reliable and authentic dealers such as Truck Forklifts so that operators can use them without worry or concern of malfunction.

3.    Visibility of the Operator

Often, due to the nature of the forklift’s design, there are chances of the visibility of the operators hampering. This is another major safety hazard since if the operator is not able to see beyond the load the forklift carries, they can crash into something or someone. Pedestrians may also be unaware of the blind spot they could be walking in, which could end up getting them hit by a forklift.

The best way to minimize this safety hazard is by training both the operator and the crew to look out for raised loads on the forks of a forklift so that they can be aware of the blind spot that exists for the operator. Moreover, it would not hurt for the crew to be familiar with the structural design of the forklift since it would help them better assess where the blind spot lies.

These were just some of the safety hazards to look out for during forklift operations. Be sure to give your crew and operators the proper training before getting them started on the site.

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