When operating a forklift, many safety checks and precautions must be taken. These checks differ from the more comprehensive daily, weekly, and monthly checks. These forklift checks are carried out because they minimize the risk of accidents, breakage and will maintain the forklift, which will increase its lifespan.
The forklift checks that must be carried out are as follows:
- Check that the forklift forks are not damaged in any way, including cracks and dents.
- Make sure the forks are evenly spaced and locked in position.
- The forklift overhead guard must be properly installed and in place.
- The forklift cabin area must be clean, and there must be no rubbish, as this can cause accidents.
- The engine compartment should be checked for leaks, and the engine belt should be tightened with good tension.
- The forklift engine battery needs a careful check, it must be in good condition, and the electrolyte level must be completed. The correct levels for this will be shown in the user manual.
- Engine and transmission oil must be topped up, and coolant levels must be correct.
- It is necessary to check all the controls, such as the horn, lights, reversing lights, turn signals, and all other devices.
- Forklift forks must be tested before proper use. Forks should be tested by raising, lowering, and tilting.
- The essential control of all in terms of operational use is the brakes. Move the forklift slowly back and forth and apply the brakes, checking that they work correctly.
Forklift seat belts save lives.
One of the most common accidents with a forklift is that they are overloaded and tip over. Most forklift hire in Sydney & NSW are equipped with seat belts in the cage; therefore, if an accident occurs, the seat belt will keep the operator safely in the seat. The same rule applies to a car; if the participants are not wearing seat belts and an accident occurs, the damage is much worse than if they were wearing seat belts.
Forklifts are heavier than many cars on the road today and, therefore, can cause more damage in the event of an accident. The heavier forklift means that when it falls, the truck falls faster than other vehicles. Because a forklift needs to turn in small, tight spaces, it turns its rear axle, which is usually pin-mounted. It makes it easy for the forklift to tip over and overturn.
Research has shown that the operator in a falling vehicle instinctively tries to get out of the car, but because the forklift falls so quickly, this can cause more damage than if strapped in with a seat belt. Often the person will not have enough time to get out before they hit the ground and become trapped in the cage or safety guards, leading to further injury and sometimes death.