What is Forklift? Its Uses and Safety Tips to Operate It

What is Forklift? Its Uses and Safety Tips to Operate It

In simple terms, a forklift is a powered industrial truck used to lift and move materials over short distances. The forklift was invented in the early 20th century by various companies. Over the years, their use has expanded worldwide. In manufacturing industries and warehouses, forklifts are one of the most commonly used pieces of equipment.

Forklifts are powered by electric batteries or combustion engines. Some Forklifts allow the operators to sit while driving and operating the machine while others require them to stand. It depends on the requirements.

Some basic uses of Forklifts

Forklifts are used for several purposes these days across various industries. Here’s a look at some basic uses of forklifts:

  • On construction sites, Forklifts are used to carry bulky building materials ( bricks, cement, iron parts) over long distances, across the rough landscape.
  • Forklifts are most often used in warehouses. They are prominently used for loading and unloading trucks and for carrying goods.
  • Forklifts are also used in recycling operations for unloading the recycling trucks or containers and transporting their contents to the sorting basins.
  • In the shipping industry,  heavy-duty forklifts are being used to transport bulky containers from delivery trucks to dockside storage regions and then to ships.

Next, after uses let’s have a look at some forklift tips to avoid injuries. It is important to discuss these tips because 10% of injuries in the workplace are due to forklifts. So, it of important to keep operators, pedestrians, and workers safe.

Forklift Safety Tips To Avoid Injuries

1) Proper training and certification

Maintaining and improving forklift safety is the responsibility of multiple parties like employers, supervisors, managers etc. All parties should be aware of their responsibilities.  There should be proper training for operators. Reports suggest that 70% of total forklifts accidents are due to a lack of training.

It is recommended that only those who have been trained and licensed under industry standards be responsible for operating forklifts.

2) Routine inspection

Forklifts should be thoroughly inspected before every use. Regular checks under proper supervision are recommended to identify and record any issues or defects.

3) Wear proper clothing and maintain proper visibility

Forklift operators should be dressed properly with the appropriate safety equipment, including safety shoes, hard hats, and a high-visibility jacket.

Operators should maintain proper visibility in all directions. They should have a clear view of the direction in which the forklift is moving. They should use headlights if working at night, outdoors, or in areas where additional lighting is required.

4) Maintain equipment capacity and never carry extra people

Operators should be aware of the capacity of the forklift and its attachments. Overloading a forklift may cause severe accidents. Do not allow other workers to ride on the forklift unless an extra seat is fitted.

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