Just Some of the Ways to Handle a Hand Forklift Safely

If you work in an industrial setting, you most likely need to work with some types of handling equipment. A hand forklift is one of the most useful types of handling equipment but safety should always be of the utmost importance when it comes to things like this.

Every single year, nearly 100 people die and over 20,000 people are injured due to some type of forklift accident. The most common incidents are;

  • Overturned forklifts (22%)
  • Workers foot struck by forklift (20%)
  • Person crushed by forklift (16%)
  • Person falls from a forklift (9%)

The Only People using Hand Forklifts Should Be Qualified Operators

Before use, employees should be trained in how to operate the hand forklift safely. Hand forklifts may seem like they’re easy to use and in some cases, they are, however, users should be trained and licence to help avoid any accidents.

Correct Safety Clothing Should Be Worn

Appropriate clothing should always be worn in the workplace, especially in an industrial setting. Appropriate hand forklift operating attire includes;

  • High visibility jacket
  • Safety shoes (steel toe caps)
  • Hard hat (when appropriate)

Avoid loose clothing as this can become caught on equipment.

Equipment Should Be Routinely Inspected

Any type of handling equipment should be inspected every day before it is in operation. Due to the hazardous nature of most of the equipment associated with handling, it is essential to ensure that tires, the engine and any other part of it is in good working order before using it. Any problems that are identified should be reported to a person of higher authority (such as a supervisor) straight away.

If there is an issue that needs to be repaired, then it should only be fixed by a trained technician.

Always Follow the Instructions

All hand forklifts should come with instructions detailing how to use it safely. This may include do’s and don’ts for the equipment.

Using It at the Appropriate Speed

Just like driving a car, it is important to stick to the correct speed limit. There are many injuries that can occur from hand forklifts that are travelling too fast, including;

  • A pedestrian getting hit
  • Hand forklift tipping
  • Operator falling off at high speeds

When operating a hand forklift, it is essential to not stop, start, turn or change direction suddenly.

Avoiding Hazards

When operating a hand forklift, it is essential to avoid hazards, where possible. Bumps, holes and loose materials should be avoided. Extra caution should be taken when the floor is wet or slippery. Tight spaces should be avoided or approached with caution. Use the horn when turning corners or approaching areas where other members of staff will be walking.

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