14 Operator Forklift Safety Tips Canada

Forklifts, indispensable for lifting and moving loads with precision on worksites, require careful handling to ensure safety. With an estimated one million units operational, emphasizing forklift safety is critical. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) reports approximately 34,900 serious injuries and 85 fatalities annually due to forklift incidents, underscoring the need for robust training and awareness.

1. Obtain Forklift Certification

Prioritize certification for operators, in line with OSHA standards. Regular evaluations and comprehensive training programs are essential.

2. Wear Proper Safety Gear

Operators should don safety equipment like hard-hats, high-visibility jackets, and safety shoes. Loose clothing should be secured to prevent entanglement.

3. Understand Forklift Types

Familiarize yourself with the specific class of forklift you’re operating. Each class has unique specifications and safety guidelines.

4. Conduct Daily Inspections

Perform thorough checks before each use to identify potential issues. Machines needing repairs must not be operated.

5. Maintain 360° Visibility

Ensure clear visibility, especially when carrying large loads. If visibility is compromised, operate the forklift in reverse and always maintain awareness of your surroundings.

6. Implement a Floor Marking System

Use markings to highlight hazards and designate pedestrian zones. This improves site navigation and enhances safety.

7. Adhere to Equipment Capacity

Never exceed the forklift’s lifting capacity to prevent tipping and possible injuries.

8. Prohibit Extra Passengers

Forklifts should carry loads only, barring exceptions for securely fitted seats. Utilize a safety cage for lifting personnel.

9. Focus on Stability

Understand the forklift’s stability triangle. Keep loads stable and centered to maintain the machine’s balance.

10. Secure Loads Properly

Ensure loads are evenly balanced and secure before moving. Adjust forks and use bindings or ropes as necessary.

11. Operate at Safe Speeds

Adhere to speed limits and avoid sudden maneuvers. Remain in control and stable at all times.

12. Keep a Safe Distance

Maintain adequate spacing from other machinery and obstacles. This prevents collisions and allows for safe operation.

13. Avoid Hazardous Areas

Steer clear of the forklift’s lift mechanism and load areas to prevent injuries from unexpected movements or falling objects.

14. Refuel and Recharge Responsibly

Only recharge or refuel in designated, safe areas. Ensure the machine is off and properly ventilated during these processes.

Enhancing Forklift Safety Practices

Main Causes of Accidents: Lack of training, environmental factors, and mechanical issues are primary culprits. Proper education can significantly reduce accidents.

Pedestrian Safety: Both operators and pedestrians must be aware of their surroundings. Implementing clear walkways and signaling intentions can prevent incidents.

Improving Safety: Beyond choosing reliable equipment, operator training is paramount. A strong safety culture, clear work environments, and regular maintenance are crucial.

Following these guidelines not only fosters a safer work environment but also minimizes the risk of accidents and injuries. Emphasizing education, awareness, and proper equipment use can dramatically improve forklift safety on any site.

Get Forklift Certified Today ! The right narrow aisle forklift can be an asset to any warehousing operation. If you’re ready to get certified for a forklift for a better paycheck you’ve come to the right place. From heavy-duty trucks to hand-guided machines, Onsite safety will get you there!


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