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Forklifts are workhorses in industrial zones. These are extremely useful and cost-effective additions in warehousing and stocking environments. But safety still remains a priority. If you run a business that requires the use of forklifts, then it’s best that forklift use and safety should form part of your plans and activities. The demand for safety also extends to both the forklift operator and the pedestrians. Safety is a shared responsibility when it comes to the use of industrial forklifts. And ensuring the safety of everyone involved starts by understanding the different hazards that are normally associated with forklift use. Here are four common hazards of forklift use.

Maneuvering

Maneuvering a forklift is different and requires a lot of effort. There are instances when a rear-end steering will give you a tight turn radius in the front but a wider swing at the back end when turning. This means that pedestrians and spotters should allow plenty of room away from the truck when maneuvering.

Blind spots

Forklifts may be small and its design allows you to observe the environment but when fully loaded, it can pose serious safety risks. The extra load on the forklift can create blind spots for the drive which can make it more difficult for him to operate the forklift in turns.

Load stability

Speaking of loads, these can also make it difficult for the operator to drive the forklift on wet and oily surfaces, on inclines, or unstable flooring. A fully loaded forklift is also difficult to operate when making a fast turn especially if the load is in the raised position. The size and the weight of the forklift and loads can impact its stability thus making it a piece of unsafe equipment to use in a busy working environment.

Speed

The speed and weight of the forklift contribute to its momentum. And since the equipment carries heavy loads, it can become heavier than cars. This makes a speeding forklift a dangerous thing on the streets or the work areas. For this reason, operators should always obey the speed limits set within the working environments. As a matter of practice, operators can sound the horn to warn pedestrians and employees working on the floor. Another safety investment that you can do is by installing a ‘red zone’ pedestrian safety warning light.

 

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