Working With a Forklift Or Pallet Jacks – Improve the Safety For Everyone

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A forklift may be different from pallet jacks, but they all need added precautions to keep everyone safe. The machines themselves carry with them a significant risk, but maintenance and the loads that carry require certain safety precautions as well. Operator training is a first step, but it requires a conscious effort by the company, the operator, and all those around this equipment to ensure everything goes well.

Forklift Batteries

Batteries for this kind of equipment are identical to those found in any other vehicle. As such, they will need to be removed, replaced, and recharged from time to time. Because of the harmful substances they contain, this puts the individual working with them at risk of inhalation and contact problems from the liquid as well as the fumes they can give off.

A well-stocked first aid kit complete with emergency showers and an eyewash station are a must. Just be sure to keep them in good working order and easily accessible. Ventilation for the work area is also important. Even if this involves nothing more than a large open door, it can save a life. Do not let anyone work on or near the equipment without the proper protective equipment.

Mechanical Malfunction

A forklift should be inspected before each shift to make sure that all of the safety equipment is in place and the machine is in good repair. Defective brakes, steering, or lifting components for example, could cause serious accidents. Tires are another important area to watch out for – having uneven wear or flat sections causing the equipment to be more unstable, risking potential problems with the load.

If anything seems different or out of place during the inspection of the machine, stop it and have it repaired before moving it. Some companies have found it highly beneficial to adopt a specific inspection checklist to prevent missing something.

Collisions

Because of the loads and size of these items, a forklift and pallet jacks can make it difficult to see what is on the other side. This leads to damage, injury, or even fatalities. Adding safety equipment such as a horn, lights, or backup warning can be quite helpful in busy areas. It is also best to take steps preventing pedestrian traffic where this equipment is used and instruct operators to drive the equipment backwards to make seeing easier.

Load Problems

Loads pose a dangerous habit because of their ability to fall or collapse. Teach the individuals loading the pallets how to pack items so that they are stable. You also want them to check the load before allowing the forklift in to move the load. One popular way to stabilize a load is to wrap everything together with stretch wrap. This is important with pallet jacks as well because of the possibility of jerking the load. The surface of the flooring should also be in good condition. Lastly, teach the operator to understand which loads can be stacked on top of each other and which ones can not.

Whether you have a large warehouse in New York or a store in Illinois, forklift safety and caution when using pallet jacks should be top on the priority list at all times. Accidents never result in something positive except for education on prevention. Make educated decisions and learn how to identify possible threats.

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Source by Chris A. Harmen