It is important for people who are undergoing forklift operator training to understand the unique features of the lift equipment which they will be operating. Such awareness can enable the operators to take steps to minimise the risks posed by the unique characteristics of forklifts. This article discusses some of the forklift's features that can create safety issues.
A forklift is not enclosed in the same way that ordinary cars are. This open structure leaves the operator exposed to a number of risks. For example, you may be struck by falling materials in case the forklift collides with shelves in a warehouse. You can also fall out of the forklift and sustain serious injuries in case the forklift tips over. The preventive measures against such risks include fastening the seat belt as well as maintaining constant vigilance about the surroundings in order to prevent collisions.
Forklifts are very heavy pieces of equipment. For example, many models of forklifts weigh more than 3000-kilogrammes. That weight can cause serious damage if an accident occurs. For instance, the forklift can crush through most walls in case proper parking procedures aren't followed and the forklift starts moving without an operator nearby. You should, therefore, be extremely careful when using a forklift so that its massive weight doesn't become a destructive force.
Forklifts typically move at about the same speed as someone who is walking. Can this slow speed be a source of safety hazards? Yes, it can. Pedestrians can keep trying to cross the path of the forklift because they know that it moves slowly. It only takes one lapse of judgment for someone to be involved in an accident as he or she tried to cross before a forklift reaches a certain location. Operators are therefore cautioned to sound the horn so that people can keep out of the way as a forklift is approaching.
Forklifts only have three tyres. This is unlike traditional vehicles that make contact with the ground using at least four tyres. The three points of contact with the ground make the forklift to be susceptible to instability. For example, an unbalanced load can cause the forklift to tip over. Forklift operators need to take every precaution possible, such as driving when the forks are lowered so that the stability of the lift vehicle isn't compromised.
Your career as a forklift operator will be incident-free if you pay close attention to all the things that you are taught as you undergo forklift licence training. Implement all the advice given once you qualify and start operating forklifts.
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