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Staying Safe: Guidelines for Lift Truck Operation

The beeping of a backup signal. The rumble of a diesel engine. The whir of a hydraulic lift. Lift trucks are a familiar sight at warehouses, retail stores, construction companies and other facilities. While extremely useful for moving heavy materials and stacked goods, lift trucks can also pose dangers if not used properly.

We’ve seen how important it is to make lift truck safety a priority. When clearly communicated safety procedures are in place and consistently enforced, lift truck accidents can be greatly reduced or avoided. We want to share some key guidelines that have helped improve loading/unloading safety at our clients facilities.

Certified and Trained Operators Are a Must

The first line of defense is ensuring only properly certified and trained personnel operate lift trucks. There are certified training programs that equipment operators must complete, covering topics like safe driving, load balancing, height restrictions and more. Untrained operators should never have access to or use lift trucks. Their lack of knowledge puts themselves and others at risk.

Eliminate Blind Spots for Better Visibility

Great visibility is crucial for staying aware of surroundings and spotting potential hazards. Forklifts should have fully functioning backup beepers, alarms, and lights to warn pedestrians they are reversing. Loading zones should also be clearly marked and checked routinely for good visibility. If an operator’s line of sight becomes obstructed while using equipment, they need to safely stop right away.

Follow Posted Safety Procedures

Facilities with loading areas should have clearly posted rules and procedures for safe equipment usage. These guidelines must be communicated to operators, pedestrians and anyone else who could be nearby equipment in use. Strict enforcement and retraining on procedures helps prevent dangerous situations. If unauthorised personnel enter restricted areas, lift truck operation should temporarily cease until the area clears for safety reasons.

By putting these precautions and protocols in place around lift truck operation, warehousing facilities can greatly improve loading/unloading safety. Training, visibility and consistency when following posted safety guidelines are key principles for reducing accidents. Discuss implementing updated lift truck protocols with your team today.


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