8 Things To Inspect In Your Forklift Before Operating

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Forklifts are an essential piece of equipment for many organizations to move loads and to load and offload other vehicles around the workplace.

If your business has a warehouse, you probably are using one. But, do you know that inappropriate usage of forklifts and carelessness can lead to accidents and severe injuries?

According to stats, approx 100,000 workers are injured (including severe injuries and fatalities) per year due to sheer carelessness or improper training on the job site.

How to avoid them?

One of the ways to minimize accidents involving forklifts is to conduct pre-use checks to make sure the piece of equipment is ready to use. It is not that complicated and time-consuming as you might think it would be. It moreover helps to detect any malfunctions so that you can inform your employer to locate another piece of equipment until it gets fixed.

Here are eight things you should inspect in your forklift before operating it:

1Brakes

Just like any vehicle, brakes play an important role in safe driving of forklifts as well. Here’s how you can check them:

  • Foot brake: When pressing it, the forklift must stop effortlessly.
  • Deadman brake: It should hold the operator when he raises his seat.
  • Parking brake: This brake should control the slight acceleration.

Moreover, ensuring brake pedal resistance while turns and during parking keep forklifts safe for work. Also, a quick check of brake shoes in the wheel hubs can help you identify initial maintenance before they turn into full-blown issues.

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2Forks 

The forks are attached at the front of the forklifts and responsible for holding and lifting heavy loads. Inspecting whether or not the forks are in good working condition before the beginning of each shift can help prevent misfortunes. Make sure there are no cracks, bends, and worn on the forks. The positioning latches must be in good condition, and that the carriage is not chipped, broken, or worn.

3Lights and Horn 

Imagine yourself hitting with objects while driving a lift because of inappropriate lights! This is not what you want to happen; so, make sure to check headlights, backlights, if they are working.

Besides, make sure to check horn and other warning devices like backup alarms, strobe light, for properly operating the lift. But, sometimes working in noisy environments can bring difficulties in hearing the horn, and this is where flashing strobe lights do the job. 

No matter how careful workers are, there’s always a risk of collision; strobe lights reduce this risk by working ahead of time whenever the lift is in motion. 

However, what about if you don’t know how to drive a lift properly anyway?

For that, obtaining forklift train the trainer certification is crucial from experts who have extensive knowledge and experience to demonstrate the right way of operating a lift.

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4Overhead Guard

Forklifts are designed with various safety devices to help prevent injuries in the event of an accident. The overhead guard is a piece of one of these safety devices. Make sure to inspect the overhead guard if it has cracks or it is damaged before hopping on the wheel.

5Power and Fuel Sources

The two key power sources for heavy industrial trucks are internal combustion that uses an engine runs on compressed natural gas (CNG), liquid petroleum gas (LPG), diesel, gasoline, or other fuel, and electric that uses a battery.

Whatever power source you use, check the fuel level and level of electrolyte in batteries is they are in good working condition. This will provide you an insight about potential threats and ideal solutions linked with their use if they need refueling or battery charging operations.

6Warning Labels

Warning labels play a vital role in making a working environment safe. Make sure they are clear and readable before getting behind the wheel. If distorted, missing, or illegible, these labels should be replaced.

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7Gauge

Gauge is electronic equipment used to measure the size, capacity, or thickness to display specific dimensional details, for instance, an oil pressure gauge to measure fluid levels.

Things to consider:

  • Check the gauges on the dashboard of the forklift before starting with your project, as they provide critical information to the operator.
  • Do not operate the forklift if the gauge shows oil pressure issues.
  • Check for oil spills and leaks or at least place signage in the hazardous area until it is cleaned.
  • Inform your supervisor if the lift needs any maintenance.

8Tires and Seat belts

Before operating the lift, test the tires, whether or not they are inflated to the right level and look for any deep cuts or excessive wear and tear. Also, test the seat belt if it is damaged or loose.

Keeping a check on daily forklift inspection can go a long way in improving efficiency and creating a safer work environment!

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