• 4 Important Forklift Training Tips



    As we mentioned in our blog “Why Electric? Breaking Down the Benefits of Electric Forklifts,” electric forklifts are becoming more popular, due in part to their ability to help create a safer working environment for employees. While the machine itself is a safer option than diesel and IC, forklift training is still necessary to keep the business protected and OSHA-compliant. Professional training classes from a material handling company, like those offered by MH Equipment, are the best way to ensure your drivers are knowledgeable and capable of handling your equipment. With security in mind, here are 4 important forklift safety tips that your warehouse managers and operators can put into practice immediately.

    Examine Your Forklift Before Use

    Operators should always examine equipment before operating: this includes the start of every shift, after taking lunch or a break, and when switching to a new vehicle. Train your operators to check for any damages or problems that need to be repaired, and to address those issues before use. Common items to check include steering, controls, brakes, warning devices, and tires.

    Refueling and Charging Batteries

    Smart forklift training advice mandates that operators follow OSHA guidelines when refueling IC and diesel forklifts. Refueling should happen in a well-ventilated area to protect all employees, the business/warehouse, and the equipment/merchandise itself. Operators should always switch off the machine’s power before refueling. Although electric forklifts don’t require fuel, they do need their batteries charged and maintained for optimum performance. Drivers should charge the battery overnight in a well-ventilated area, being sure to observe the charger’s voltage and amperage requirements to avoid electrical sparks.

    Be Aware of Your Environment

    One of the most important forklift training tips we can give forklift operators is to simply be aware of their surroundings. Drivers should pay attention to people and other machinery, always obey signs, and adhere to worksite procedures. Being aware of the machine itself, and the size and height of the load, will help employees drive safer and reduce possible accidents or tipping. One final note is to use extra precaution when driving near docks or ramps as the forklift could fall over and seriously injure the driver or another person.

    Load Properly

    Safe forklift operating can be achieved if the operator knows the capacity of his or her machine and checks to ensure it is not overloaded. Safely load the pallet to avoid damaging the machine and attachments, and ensure the loads are positioned evenly across both forks for stability and safety. Operators should be taught when straps or ropes are required, and the procedures for securing the load to the forklift in such instances.

    Equipping your forklift drivers with the knowledge and know-how to safely operate your machines is one of the best investments you can make in your business. Partner with a premier material handling company, like MH Equipment, that has offered industry-leading training and safety courses for more than 50 years. MH Equipment can help you ensure your business is OSHA-compliant and even create in-house training programs suited to your specific needs, contact us today to learn more.

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