Forklifts are common to construction sites and other places that specialize in moving oversized packages of inventory. These machines are powerful, so it’s not easy to operate one unless you’ve gone through the training to learn how to use a forklift. If you haven’t learned, find a program that you can work with to obtain forklift operator certification. Otherwise, here are tips on how to be safe while operating a forklift.
Earn Your Certification
To fully know how to be safe while operating a forklift, you need to possess the right skill set. To develop that skill set, you need to get forklift operator certification. You can earn it by taking a class either through your employer or a specialty training school. During training, a teacher or your employer will train you using various formats like lectures and videos. After training, they will evaluate your forklift operating skills every three years.
Wear the Right Clothing
When operating a forklift, it’s a good idea to avoid wearing clothing with small pieces that dangle and might get trapped under the machine. Wear jeans, work boots, a long-sleeve shirt, and appropriate safety equipment. Safety is essential when operating any heavy machinery, especially a forklift.
Be Familiar With Your Forklift Type
Before hopping on any forklift, make sure you know what type you are dealing with and any special procedures you need to take before starting. There are 10 different types of forklifts, and each will differ by weight limit, the speed you can travel, the way you turn, and its purpose. Study up on each type of forklift before handling any kind.
Do a Daily Inspection
After you’ve determined your type of forklift, be sure to conduct an inspection. Before you start up the machine, make and follow a daily task list to ensure that your forklift has no problems and starts up nicely. Always test the brakes, lights, horn, and steering wheel. Check the overhead and your guard for any damage, and then examine the tire pressure and the fluid levels. Finally, check for leaks of any kind, that the forks are straight, and that no items are blocking your forklift.
Add Floor Markings
Floor markings are a good indicator to workers of whether an area is safe to walk or stand in. They can also help employees who are newly certified know where to park their forklifts. When you add your floor markings, make sure they’re set up in such a way that the forklifts have a safe route to follow and won’t cause a traffic jam.
If you want to get forklift certification and learn how to operate one safely, reach out to your employer. They will guide you down the right path and provide you with information on forklift operator certification.