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How to Operate a Forklift Safely

Picture of Worker Driving Forklift

Forklift Safety Tips

A forklift is a handy industrial tool that aids in lifting heavy, large objects. While it may appear easy to operate and drive, a forklift has many intricate safety measures and protocols to follow to ensure your safety. Forklifts pose such a tremendous threat to personal safety that the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has created safety standards that must be met by employers and employees controlling such machinery. Whether you are a novice or experienced forklift operator—here are some essential safety tips to keep top of mind.

Get Proper Training

The best way to avoid a forklift accident is by completing the proper training. OSHA standards state that only trained operators are permitted to control a powered industrial truck. If you are handling a forklift without certification, speak to your employer about how to get OSHA certified.

Wear the Right Gear

Before hopping on your forklift, be sure you are wearing the proper clothing and safety gear such as:

  • Durable work boots that can protect from slips, falls, and falling objects

  • Hard hats

  • High-visibility vest or jacket

  • Gloves

It is also important that your clothes fit properly, as loose and long articles can get caught on the forklift.

Inspect The Forklift Before Using

Before you begin using your forklift, it is imperative you complete a safety inspection. This ensures any potential malfunction is caught before you start working. Should a defect be found, do not use the forklift until it’s repaired. The following should be tested before use:

  • Check the function of brakes, lights, horn, and steering wheel.

  • Look for damage in the mast and overhead guard.

  • Examine all fluid levels, including the brake, engine, fuel, coolant, and hydraulics.

  • Check for any leaks in the radiator, as well as any oil or water leaks.

Keep Proper Speed

When driving a forklift, it’s essential to operate it within proper speed limits. Moving fast around sharp turns can cause your forklift to tip over. Keeping a safe speed can help avoid injuries from ensuing.

Forklift Rentals in San Fernando

Renting construction equipment is a great way to expedite your projects in an efficient and budget-friendly manner. Contact Calgrove Equipment Rentals at (818) 805-1617 for more information about how we can be of service for all of your construction equipment needs, including forklifts and more