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5 Common and Avoidable Forklift Mistakes

Like any other type of vehicle, accidents can happen with a forklift and many of them are avoidable with proper forklift maintenance and operation.  Forklift accidents in the workplace can be very dangerous which is why operators go through training that includes forklift safety before getting their license.  Operators with experience know how to avoid mistakes that can lead to accidents by checking the forklift before using it and exercising caution.  However, because these mistakes are so common, it is important for forklift operators to know the most common mistakes and how they can be avoided.

Forgetting to Check Tire Pressure

The tire pressure of the forklift tires should be checked every time before use because maintaining good tire pressure decreases the risk for accidents while improving the fuel economy.  Forklift tires can be dangerous if they are under-inflated because this decreases traction which could lead to accidents, and also if they are over-inflated because this can cause your tires to blow out at the worst possible time.  Make sure you always check the tire pressure of your forklift with a gauge and adjust the tire pressure accordingly.

5-Common-and-Avoidable-Forklift-MistakesDriving Dangerously

Careless driving is one of the top mistakes made by forklift operators, particularly those with less experience.  This is normally the result of driving at too high of speeds which makes certain maneuvers very dangerous.  It can be tempting to move quickly on a forklift when there is a deadline approaching but it is best to never exceed the recommended speeds to avoid a major accident.

Forgetting to Check the Forklift Battery

Like the tires, the forklift battery should be checked before each use to make sure it has power.  If the battery loses power during operation, especially if it is lifting a load, the consequences can be dangerous.  Checking the battery, terminal, and power gauge before each use can help you avoid forklift accidents caused by loss in power.

Forgetting to Check the Brakes

The brakes are another part that should be inspected before each use of a forklift as they are subject to normal wear and tear and break failures can be catastrophic.  If you have to push harder on the break to get the forklift to stop, this could be a sign that your brake pads need to be replaced.  It only takes a few minutes to install new brake pads which can help prevent a major accident.

Not Using Turn Signal

Most warehouse settings involve foot traffic as well as traffic from forklifts which makes it important to exercise proper safety, including the use of turn signals, to avoid accidents.  This is one aspect of forklift safety that is continuously overlooked when using turn signals can easily prevent workplace accidents.  Even if the turn signals on the forklift are not working, you can still signal your turns with hand signals.

Forklifts are very important pieces of equipment in many warehouse settings but improper maintenance and handling can lead to serious forklift accidents.  You can help cut down on forklift related accidents in your workplace by making inspections of the equipment before use mandatory and emphasizing the importance of safe driving and turn signals.  If you have employees that need training to get their licenses, RHI Lifts provides complete forklift operator training that includes classroom study, a written exam, and hand-on training.  You can call us at (847) 447-0700 for more about our forklift operator training.