Top 10 Forklift Mistakes to Avoid for Safer Manufacturing

on April 5, 2016

Manufacturing relies heavily on forklifts to get work done quickly and efficiently. Workflow is significantly impacted by accidents, however, which are extremely common. Worse yet, these accidents can result in severe injuries and even death. When we examine the most detrimental accidents, ten causes come up as the most common to blame.

  1. No knowledge of the lift truck’s load capacity. The data plate on the forklift will show the vehicle’s load capacity. This is extremely important to follow as loads that exceed it make the forklift unstable.
  1. Being unaware of the route. If you don’t walk through your entire route ahead of time, you don’t know where there may be obstacles, narrow passages, or pedestrian traffic that you need to avoid.
  1. The load isn’t secured. Many loads are fairly easy to secure or move securely, like pallets. Other irregularly shaped objects or those without a stable center of gravity require careful attention during transportation.
  1. Failing to communicate with other workers in the area. Pedestrian accidents are most likely to happen when they don’t know the forklift’s route, and when the driver doesn’t know where people will be or where they are going. Make sure you stop to clarify each other’s actions if you don’t know.
  1. Slipping when getting on or off the forklift. Slips and trips have nothing to do with the actual operation of the forklift, but they are also very common and dangerous. Be sure you’re wearing proper footwear that hasn’t been compromised, and take care when stepping on and off the vehicle.
  1. Deficient fluid and/or battery charge levels. Stopping partway through a job because of inadequate maintenance and upkeep can be very dangerous.
  1. Uninspected vehicles in use. Forklift inspections exist for good reason. There are numerous things that can go wrong with a lift truck, and without proper inspection, you are inviting danger onto the work floor.
  1. Speeding. It can be tempting to speed when work needs to be completed quickly, but this is one of the easiest ways to compromise product, structures, the forklift itself, or the operator. Follow speed limits and the capability of the forklift; pay attention to speed bumps.
  1. Incorrect parking. You should only park in authorized areas, and when you do, lower the fork to the floor, set the direction controls to neutral, lower the parking brake, and turn off the ignition.
  1. Vehicle misuse. Do not, under any circumstances, use forklifts for anything other than that for which they’re intended. It can be dangerous enough using them for what they’re built for; don’t test their limits with other activities.

Avoiding these 10 mistakes will help ensure a safe work environment. Product safety doesn’t stop at the end of the manufacturing process, however. You need packaging that protects their integrity all the way to the consumer. Packnet Ltd. offers a larger variety of expert packaging solutions and services. Contact us to ensure the safety of your end product: 952-944-9124.