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Helpful Tips for Safer Forklift Use

Forklift in warehouse

EHS Today Magazine posted a handy reference article about forklift safety and preventing hazards in warehouses and facilities where forklifts are used. Though late model forklifts are designed with safety in mind and are less dangerous to operate than their predecessors, potential danger still exists in the form of collisions and tip-overs. This can result in damaged inventory and property, as well as personal injury and even death.

If you or your employees use forklifts in any capacity, here are some tips to keep in mind:

Check equipment before operating. Make this a regularly scheduled routine and notify management if any damage or problem is present.

Wear personal protective equipment such as protective footwear, hard hats and highly visible clothing.

Wear seatbelt while operating. Specifically forklifts where the operator sits down, always buckle up.

Don’t allow loads to exceed the weight capacity. Check the forklift’s operating manual or look on the machine itself for the maximum amount of pounds that can be lifted safely.

Drive with caution. Keep a safe speed, navigate corners and curves slowly, and use the horn to alert others when vision is obstructed.

When work is finished, engage the parking brake, lower the forks and set controls in neutral. Use wheel blocks if not parked on a level surface.


For companies who use propane-powered forklifts, keep these safety steps in mind:

Inspect cylinders before operating. Look for rust, leaks or other signs of damage. Check for worn valves and O-rings.

Store propane cylinders securely. The propane supplier can help determine the best location in your facility for storage. Do not store in high-traffic areas, on stairs or near entryways and exits.

Close service valves when not in use. This prevents fuel loss and potential injury and damage from accidental ignition.

Point pressure relief valve away from the locating pin. Make sure it’s secure and pointed 180 degrees from the forklift’s locating pin.

Regardless of how your forklift is powered, following these guidelines and practicing proper safety procedures are vital for the overall reliability and customer service of your company.

Click here to read the entire article at EHS Today’s website. Image above courtesy of Pixabay.com.

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