Working safely with Forklift Trucks
Using forklift trucks safely isn’t difficult, but judging by the number of accidents each year, which is reputed to be around 8000 in the UK alone, too many of us cut corners. The majority of these accidents can be avoided by the operator getting the the sufficient training.
The most important safety advice about operating forklift trucks is one that is also required by law;
Operators must be qualified!
You can’t drive a car without a licence, and it’s the same with forklift trucks. You have to receive the proper training and contain a licence to operate the equipment. This training has to be administered by an accredited trainer, like for example UK Industries Training.
What does forklift training consist of?
As there are 3 main types of forklift trucks used in the industry, there are many different levels of Fork Lift Training. On most courses you will learn about each of the types of forklift, their characteristics and purposes. The training usually lasts 3 or 5 days, although this depends on how extensive the training is.
Just like a car driving licence the training will consist of theory and practical elements. At the end of the course you will be tested on both the practical and theoretical elements of the course. Once you have passed you are issued with a licence for the type or types of forklift trucks you did your training on. You will have to do a 1 day refresher course every 3 years to keep your licence.
Simple Steps to Stay Safe
Once you have received your training to operate forklift trucks, there are some simple steps you can take to stay safe in your workplace.
Wear appropriate safety work wear – usually consisting of hard hats, safety shoes and hi-visibility jackets that aren’t too loose fitting.
Do a routine check of your equipment before using it – make sure you check your brakes, steering, controls, warning devices, masts and tyres for any faults.
Consider the surrounding environment – be aware of the height of your load, any slopes you have to go up or down and the edge of any loading docks or ramps.
Stick to a safe speed – slow down before going around corners and before turning to avoid tipping.
Avoid hazards – steer clear of any bumps and loose objects on the ground which could cause loss of control of the equipment, use your horn when going through doorways to alert pedestrians and other forklift operators to your whereabouts.
Check your load – make sure your load is stable and secure and use securing measures such as ropes or bindings if required.
Look where you are going – make sure you have clear visibility and use a lookout if visibility is too poor. Move up ramps in a forward direction and down them in reverse.
Keep clear of the mast – no one should stand or walk under the load of forklift trucks, a falling load could cause fatal injuries.
Don’t overload – Know the capacity of your forklift and do not exceed this capacity, do not lift a load unless both forks are fully under the load.
Once you have received sufficient training to perform at high speed whilst not posing a danger to anyone else, then you are also in a strong position to find a strong and long lasting job prospect. So why not give UK Industries Training a call today on 0115 969 1068 to find out more.