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Five top tips to help you improve forklift safety

14 June, 2022 by Tom Peace

As part of National Forklift Safety Day, we have put together a selection of top tips to help improve your forklift safety and keep your operators and on-site employees safe.

Tip 1) Ensure operators have the correct training

The theme of this years National Forklift Safety Day is ‘Operator Training’. This means it’s as good a time as any to check whether your operators are up to date with their forklift training. There are frequent updates to the rules and regulations involved with the operation of forklifts, which could mean that your drivers aren’t fully compliant and as a result put themselves and other on-site employees at risk.

Speak to Briggs to find out how we can handle all your industrial equipment training requirements.

Glyn Parker, Briggs Equipment’s National Technical Manager, commented: “We provide a wide range of training courses to ensure forklift operators have all the necessary certification and qualifications to operate their equipment safely.

“The courses we offer are fully approved by leading accrediting bodies and cover all levels of operator, from the complete novice to instructor level. We also provide a wide selection of refresher courses, which can help fill any gaps in their skillset and knowledge that may have appeared.”

Tip 2) Secure your loads

All types of loads need to be secured correctly to help prevent accidents when transporting or lifting.  By ensuring the stability and balance of each load, the level of control that your operators have when performing tasks will improve, allowing them to complete their tasks safely.

Remember to never overload a forklift truck. Understand the capacity of your truck and do not exceed this limit. An overloaded vehicle can result in rear tyres raising off the ground, causing the forklift to tip over.

Also, don’t forget to check the condition of your pallets, if they’re poor or damaged, they could break under the weight of your load.

Tip 3) Frequent Inspections

Performing appropriate inspections on your forklifts can help identify problems before they develop and ensure machines remain safe and compliant during operation.

Inspections come in different forms and its good practice to establish a process for performing safety checks before each shift. Not only does this help spot any issues (which should be reported immediately and the machine should remain unused until fixed), but it can help promote a culture of safety first that engages your operators.

It is also crucial to keep up to date with LOLER and PUWER 98 regulations. These Thorough Inspections are required to be carried out by independent and competent inspectors to determine whether handling and lifting equipment is safe to use. At Briggs, we recommend Qualitas Asset Compliance to provide this vital service. 

Alan Heaton, Compliance Operations Manager, commented: “Over the past year we have seen a significant increase in inspection requests as businesses ramp up their industrial equipment activity.

“At Qualitas, we’ve made it straightforward for businesses to access our inspection services and our expert team are always on hand ready to support. Qualitas Inspectors provide an independent view of your lifting equipment and produce a Thorough Examination report with full impartiality.”

Tip 4) Visibility Is Key

Not only is it important that your forklift operators can see what they’re doing, but it’s also vital that they can be seen doing it. Forklift operator awareness and visibility is integral to the job.

Ensuring that your forklifts can be seen may seem obvious, but low visibility (such as early or late hours, poor weather, or crowded areas) can not only affect your operators’ judgement, but it can endanger those around them. Making sure your forklifts have strong, working lights is vital. There are also additional technologies available to improve truck visibility and safety, including ‘Halo Safety Lighting’, which you can see in action via the video below.

Tip 5) Maintain Forklift Safety Practice

Confident forklift operators can occasionally become complacent, whether it’s driving their machine too fast, operating their forklift without completing safety checks, driving with their forks too high or lifting loads above a machine’s capacity.

To help ensure that forklift safety practice is followed, it’s important to regularly remind operators of regulation, whether that’s through weekly safety meetings and refresher training.

If you have any questions, or would like to know more, why not get in touch with our friendly and expert team? They’ll be able to provide you with additional helpful advice, as well as organise any training your operators may need.

info@briggsequipment.co.uk 03301 23 98 50