Forklift Operation: Three Essential Tips for Improving Safety in Your Warehouse

15 January 2018
 Categories: , Blog


Forklifts are essential for most warehousing operations. These heavy machines are beneficial because they improve the productivity of these commercial setups by increasing the number of materials or goods the workers can handle per unit time. In addition, the handling of loads using forklifts reduces the incidences of strain injuries. On the other hand, forklifts, like other industrial equipment, create a new risk of accidents in the workplace. If you are concerned about this issue in your warehouse, you should consider using these simple tips to promote forklift safety.

Inspect the Transport Equipment

You should encourage your forklift operators to check their equipment before use. This practice can be instrumental in minimising injuries in the workplace and promoting general safety. The routine inspection can be performed quite quickly as long as the operators are qualified. Under ideal circumstances, they should check the steering, lift controls and brakes. It is also advisable to ensure that the tyres are in good condition and that safety devices such as warning lights and alarms are working as expected. You should also establish a framework for reporting malfunctions for optimal efficiency in your worksite.

Check Your Work Environment

Many accidents involving forklifts occur because of lack of organisation in the worksite. In simple terms, if there are no clear designated roadways for forklifts in the warehouse, there will be confusion, and accidents will follow. Therefore, you should ensure that there are clearly marked paths for forklift travel in the site. There should also be signs installed indicating potential hazards. Operators will be able to respond appropriately if there are clear signs showing changes in the worksite or activities being performed by other workers in the warehouse. 

Ensure Proper Loading of Goods

You should make sure that your goods are loaded correctly onto the forklifts. Simply speaking, the operators should receive training on proper placement of the merchandise on the forklifts. The loads should always be stable to avoid toppling accidents. The material should be tilted back, and the forks should be placed low to decrease centre of gravity and increase stability. If stacking is necessary, the loads should always be placed evenly across the forks. Where there is a significant danger of goods sliding off, you should promote the use of bindings and ropes. 

Finally, you should choose the right forklift for your warehousing applications. If you cannot afford to purchase a new forklift for your special material-handling applications, you should consider forklift hire for optimal productivity and safety.