As a Forklift Operator, you must know driving a forklift may seem easy to an untrained eye but driving one is not a piece of cake. The forklift has a hydraulic lifting mechanism and can be dangerous if not operated with care, from being tipped over if overloaded to a deadly machine which can run over pedestrians. A forklift operator has to always be alert and keep in mind these five things to have a safe driving experience:
- Maximum load capacity- Every forklift has a maximum weight capacity as determined by the manufacturer. The capacity is determined by the maximum weight a forklift can safely carry at a specific load center if not centered precisely forklift capacity is considerably lowered. This information is printed on a data plate and the number listed on the data plate should never be exceeded. Also, if any forklift operator discovers the data plate has been altered or removed, they must immediately contact the authority to avoid any accidents.
- Keeping focus- While operating heavy machinery, distraction can be fatal as you are not paying your complete attention to the task at hand. It is imperative to avoid diversion if you are operating a forklift. These machines take skill and concentration to drive and using smartphones or even a hand free device can hinder your focus, also it is best to avoid eating, looking at paperwork or listening to music while operating a forklift.
- Be aware of safe routes- It is crucial for drivers to know the approved routes they can take before attempting to load. Being aware of any obstacles, narrow or complex turns are necessary. Knowing routes ahead of time can help you plan your movement and if you come across a route that you are doubtful about, move in a safer direction.
- Communicate with co-workers- Majority of accidents usually involve non-operators due to the lack of information shared by the forklift operators. It is important to maintain communication and let people know what are you doing and what route you will be taking. The forklift operator needs to know when the foot traffic is at maximum. Communicating and knowing what’s going on in the rest of the plant can help an operator avoid any hazards.
- Refresher training- Continual refresher training is a good way to maintain safe working practices and eliminate any accidental case caused due to bad practice. With refresher courses from CN Forklift Training, you can polish your skills and steer clear of accidents.