A functional forklift can be a great asset within any warehouse or commercial premises. As useful as they may be, it’s very important to ensure the safety of those using them, as well as those nearby. They are incredibly powerful working vehicles and if used incorrectly, they can be just as dangerous. For businesses looking to hire, as well as those with vehicles already in use – here’s a look at some of the most beneficial truck safety tips to maximise the comfort and confidence of your employees and contractors.
Consider installing a siren
Although many models feature reverse sirens, they only activate when the vehicle is in reverse. A better option would be to install a siren that emits sound whenever the truck is in use. This will make all employees in close proximity aware of the vehicle’s presence whether it’s driving forwards or backwards – allowing them plenty of time to make way or stay clear.
Frequent maintenance and servicing
It’s highly unlikely that forklifts will be used on active roadways – in fact, it’s a legal requirement that they are only utilised within private premises like warehouses and commercial outlets. Although they aren’t exposed to the same elements as road-worthy vehicles, they will still require maintenance and servicing from time to time. These types of heavy machinery are put under large amounts of pressure (typically on a daily basis) and so checking the brakes, tyres and hydraulics is often recommended to avoid the risk of injury.
Most models will feature some form of hand braking system and these aren’t only for use when the truck is being parked up for the night. These vehicles can weigh anywhere between half a tonne and several – and having one rolling towards a member of staff, or even into a wall, can offer catastrophic results. Many operators rely on the weight of the load to keep them static when not in use, but this isn’t always enough. It pays to be safe, so using the hand brake is recommended, even for the shortest stops. This will also reduce the stress on the actual brake system – therefore prolonging its longevity.
Install safety warnings and signs
Any premises subjected to the use of heavy machinery requires correct signage and warning notices, but this safety precaution can be taken one step further by implementing these warnings on the truck itself. Although many of the most dangerous components of a truck will be securely contained within the chassis, there are certain cables and hydraulic pipes that won’t be. Consider placing noticeable stickers and warning signs in any relevant locations on the truck. For those inexperienced with their use, it will help to ensure that fingers are kept clear of pistons and so on.
These are just a few safety tips that can be implemented to enhance the safety and functionality of your vehicle. There’s no greater safety feature than training your staff to appreciate the dangers of heavy machinery and this alone can act to minimise risks.