By: September 13, 2017
Forklift trucks are inherently dangerous. They are heavy industrial machines. Even the smallest forklift weighs more than an automobile. Forklifts have short wheelbases and tight turning radiuses, making them prone to tip-overs when used improperly.
Understand the capacity ratings of the forklift you are operating.
- Do not exceed the rated capacity or load center (front-to-back)
- Exceeding capacity or load center puts the forklift in immediate danger of tipping
- Load elevation, weight, and distance from the front tire all have an impact on stability
- Don’t use just the tips of your forks to lift
- Bring your load all the way back to the load backrest and make sure it is secured and balanced
- Never drive or turn with your forks in the air (always keep them about 4-6 inches off the ground)
- Don’t turn or lift your forks on a ramp
- Keep your driving skills sharp – enroll in a driver training course with Eastern Lift Truck Co.
Forklifts are capable of sharp turns and when combined with excessive speed, tipping is not only possible, but highly likely. Most accidents are avoidable. Yet the internet filled with examples of people who have made poor decisions when operating a forklift. Don’t become an internet sensation. Practice safe driving.
- Don’t pick up anything that looks unstable
- Go slow (especially around turns or on ramps)
- Watch for obstacles and make eye contact with pedestrians
Unfortunately, every year in the United States, an average of 100 forklift operators die in accidents. A majority of these fatalities are a result of tip-overs. Research indicates operators have a better chance of surviving a tip-over if they use their seatbelt and stay inside the forklift. If you are ever in a tip-over situation, don’t jump out of the lift truck. Lean forward and away from the direction the forklift is falling. Brace yourself using your arms and legs and the steering wheel for support.
We hope you and your colleagues are never involved in a forklift accident of any type. But accidents do happen all the time. Eastern Lift Truck Company’s Training Department is available to help educate you and your operators on proper forklift usage. We want to help reduce the number of injuries and fatalities in our industry. Give us a call today at (888) 779-5438.