Forklift Precautions

Improper use of a forklift truck can topple the machine. Only well trained individual should operate such equipment.

Heavy loads held aloft exert increased leverage. It is vital to know the load limit of each forklift machine. The size and center of gravity of a load can alter safe lifting capacity, A forklift truck is like an out-of-balance teeter-totter. The lifted load should never be allowed to balance the weight of the truck.

Basic safety rules

  • Always use the seatbelt or operator restraining device. Keep all parts of the body inside the running lines of the truck.
  • Look to the front and rear before starting.
  • Face in the direction of travel. Look backward before reversing.
  • Only carry loads for which the truck is designed and rated. Check the load plate before picking up a load.
  • Never drive with faulty brakes.
  • Avoid sudden stops, starts, or turns. Such abrupt actions could spill the load or cause the machine to topple. Use extra caution when operating a forklift truck on a loading dock.
  • Drive slowly on wet or slippery surfaces and rough ground.
  • Don't drive with forks raised. Keep them just clear of the ground, and tilted slightly back.
  • Slow down or stop when vision is obstructed.
  • Do not work under suspended loads, due to risk of hydraulic failure.
  • When climbing or descending inclines, the load should always be uphill, Never drive a forklift truck across an incline.
  • Do not park on a slope. Never leave a forklift unattended without lowering the forks, setting the brake, neutralizing controls, shutting off power, and removing the ignition key.
Always bear in mind that the stability of a forklift truck decreases as a load is raised. Try to avoid tilting an elevated load forward until it is over the place of unloading.

A forklift truck is like an out-of-balance teeter-totter. Carried loads should never be allowed to 'balance' a truck's weight!

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