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Proper Workplace Procedure: What Not to Do on a Forklift

Proper Workplace Procedure: What Not to Do on a Forklift
  • Opening Intro -

    When it comes to managing inventory and ensuring that all orders ship promptly, our warehouses are the key to getting satisfied consumers.

    But none of this success could be possible without the heavy equipment to assist your hard-working employees—mainly the forklift.


Used to transport goods to their proper processing areas, they are the main reason why many warehouses continue to have climbing efficiency rates. Still, a forklift is only as effective as the individual operating it, and it’s up to you to encourage proper operating procedures among your employees.

This is what not to do on a forklift so that you can better ensure a productive and safe day at work.

Drive Too Fast

Most common forklift accidents are a result of an operator driving faster than they should. Forklifts aren’t able to handle sudden, sharp turns to avoid oncoming hazards.

Additionally, since there are a lot of potential dangers in a warehouse, such as pedestrians, inventory, and other equipment, going slow is the best way to avoid them.

This makes it easier to maintain control of the machine, identify how much space there is to move, and know how much time there is to stop.

Eat or Drink While Operating a Forklift

Though it might seem like common sense to not eat or drink anywhere near large, electrical machinery, employees should receive periodic reminders of this danger.

Not only is it distracting to be eating your lunch on the go, but it also increases the likelihood of spills that could damage the equipment.

Should a spill occur on or near the forklift, clean it up immediately to minimize the damage being done. Otherwise, you could have a most expensive problem to fix.

Wear Loose-Fitting Clothing or Gear

Another thing operators should not do on a forklift is to wear loose clothing. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for ill-fitting garments to hang low into the machinery and catch on the working parts.

This can result in an incredibly dangerous accident that could put your workers’ safety at risk. To best avoid these types of situations, it’s important to enforce a dress code that keeps forklift operators, and those around them, from snagging in the machines.

Operate While Drowsy or Distracted

Just like when driving a car, being mentally impaired greatly increases the chances that your forklift operators will get into an accident. This is because a drowsy or distracted mental state removes an individual’s focus from what’s going on around them.

Should an unexpected hazard move into their path, they won’t be able to react in time to get around it. It’s for this reason that worker health needs to be at the forefront of your priorities, and you must educate them on the dangers of losing focus behind the wheel.

other valuable tips:

Lift Heavy Loads Without a Spotter

One of the primary reasons that we need forklifts in the first place is that they can lift more than we can. In fact, they can lift anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 pounds.

With an increasing number of orders placed each day, their strength is crucial to your business filling orders as quickly as possible. But this is also why every forklift driver should have a spotter to help them relocate the load. These people are responsible for watching for hazards while the driver’s view is obscured so that they can safely maneuver through the workplace.

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