Forklifts play a crucial role in the smooth functioning of many warehouses and distribution centres, but their operation requires a great deal of skill, training, and attention to safety.
As a forklift driver, you are responsible for efficiently and safely moving materials within your workplace. This requires operating your equipment with precision and staying up-to-date with the latest industry developments, best practices, and regulations.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of valuable tips and advice for staying safe on the job.
1. Regularly Check and Inspect Your Forklift
As a forklift driver, you must ensure your machinery is safe and in good working condition. Regular inspections of your forklift can help you identify any potential problems or faults before they arise, allowing you to address them before they pose a safety risk.
In addition, regular inspections can help you identify areas that need improvement or maintenance so that any faults can be rectified to ensure you’re operating your forklift as safely as possible.
Ideally, you should aim to inspect your forklift daily or every time you use it. When inspecting the different parts of your forklift – including the forks, mast, and tilt/lift cylinders – you should look for any signs of damage, cracks, or dents.
2. Keep a Clear View of Your Surroundings and Maintain Awareness of Potential Hazards
It’s your responsibility to work safely and be aware of your surroundings at all times – this includes keeping an eye out for any potential hazards that may be lurking around your workplace. From the debris on the warehouse floor to pedestrians and vehicles moving in and around your building, you must be vigilant of any potential dangers.
You should also be aware of any overhead obstructions such as pipes and cables – and always keep a clear view of everything around you to avoid accidents or injuries.
3. Take Regular breaks to Avoid Fatigue and Maintain Concentration
One of the biggest causes of accidents is loss of concentration and fatigue – and as a forklift driver, it’s essential to be aware of how fatigue can affect your ability to perform your job safely. While fatigue is unavoidable in any job that involves working long hours and shifting between tasks quickly, there are ways to combat it.
Taking regular breaks throughout the day is one of the most effective ways to reduce fatigue, and it’s particularly important for forklift drivers to take regular breaks to avoid the risk of accidents or injuries.
Although it’s tempting to push on through to the end of your shift, taking regular breaks can help you properly recover so that you can stay focused, alert, and ready to operate your forklift safely.
4. Be Aware of Your Limitations and Avoid Using Equipment That You Are Not Qualified to Operate
Another important safety tip for forklift drivers is to be aware of your limitations, including understanding which equipment you are trained to operate. As a trained forklift driver, you’re only authorised to operate certain types of equipment – and it’s important to avoid operating any machinery you’re not trained to use.
5. Continuously Update Your Forklift Drivings Skills and Attend Refresher Training as Needed
Lastly, as a forklift driver, it’s essential to continually update your skills and keep up-to-date with the latest developments and best practices in the industry.
As technology changes, new laws and regulations are introduced, and new best practices are established, you must stay updated with these changes. Otherwise, you risk continuing potentially dangerous practices while operating heavy machinery.
In addition, if you haven’t been operating a specific model of forklift for a while, it’s a good idea to attend refresher training so you can brush up on your skills and familiarise yourself with any changes.
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Whether you’re looking to change careers and gain RTITB or AITT certification, or you’re an experienced operator looking to gain additional skills or qualifications in specific areas, our forklift training courses can help you gain the skills and knowledge you need to succeed as a forklift driver.
With the ability to deliver training to employees on-site or at our state-of-the-art training facilities, we’re able to cater to the needs of both small and large businesses. To learn more about our forklift training courses, get in touch with a member of our team today on 0151 343 0588 or fill out our online contact form.