5 Bad Habits When Using a Forklift
What are the common bad habits when using a forklift?
- Ignoring pre-shift safety checks
- Mounting or dismounting improperly
- Forgetting to wear the seatbelt
- Driving too quickly
- Working while fatigued
It’s important to train forklift operators thoroughly before they’re deployed in a warehouse or logistics facility. This way, they will know how to use this material handling equipment in a way that balances safety and efficiency. But too many forklift operators have habits that can pose a danger to themselves and the people around them. To maintain safety on your site, you’ll want to prevent these common bad habits when using a forklift. Read on.
Ignoring Pre-Shift Safety Checks
Pre-shift safety inspections are necessary to ensure that forklifts are in a safe condition to be operated in a worksite. It involves checking the parts and testing for any malfunctions.
But over time, some forklift operators might become more complacent when doing safety checks. In this situation, there’s a chance they may overlook an issue that can pose a risk to the site’s safety. There’s also a tendency to skip the inspection altogether if they feel that the risks are low in the workplace.
To prevent this bad habit, it’s a good idea to require pre-shift safety checks and have issues reported immediately to the authorized person.
Mounting or Dismounting Improperly
There are specific safety precautions that must be kept in mind when using a forklift to prevent accidents. This includes safely getting on and getting off the equipment. Unfortunately, some workers may disregard this over time, and instead opt to quickly mount or dismount to get to their tasks. This increases the chance of a slip or fall, which could lead to serious injuries.
To address this bad habit, managers and co-workers should always remind operators to follow the three-point contact method when mounting or dismounting. This means that either two hands and a foot or two feet and one hand should be kept on the forklift when getting on and off. This should be maintained until seated or standing firmly on the ground.
This method can help operators to pull themselves quickly into the cab when another vehicle or obstruction comes in their way while getting in or out. It also reduces the chances of slips and falls.
Forgetting to Wear the Seatbelt
One of the safety precautions that must be observed before forklift operation is the wearing of a seatbelt. But unfortunately, some operators forget to do it or skip it altogether. This is easily overlooked when they need to frequently exit and enter the cabin.
But seatbelts can help protect against injuries and save lives when an accident happens. It only takes a second to put it in place, but it can make a huge difference when the unfortunate happens—such as a tip-over
There are plenty of ways you can tackle this problem. First, make sure to put importance on this safety precaution during training. You can include it in your safety policies, so it becomes mandatory on your work site. Lastly, you can also put up signage to remind operators to wear their seat belts.
Driving Too Quickly
Some forklift operators are tempted to increase their driving speed in an attempt to get more things done in less time. But this can be dangerous especially when turning on corners, traveling through inclines, or carrying heavy loads. It could end in a forklift tip-over. The operator could also accidentally hit a pedestrian or damage the property.
To stop this bad habit at the root, find out the reason why the operators are rushing through their tasks. Perhaps it’s because they’re overwhelmed with the workload or have an urgent deadline to meet. Review your production schedules and revise them if it’s not realistic. This way, operators are not pressured to speed up their work.
Working While Fatigued
Other than the bad habit of rushing through tasks, some operators also work without proper rest. Fatigue is a serious hazard when it comes to equipment operation—including forklifts. This could lead to a lack of focus which could cause accidents in your worksite. Aside from injuries to the operator and the pedestrians, it could also lead to damage to property.
Managers should know how to spot signs of fatigue in the workplace. Here are some symptoms that the operators lack proper rest:
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle weakness
- Low energy
- Difficulty concentrating on the job
- Problems with decision-making
Forklift operators should be reminded to complete seven to nine hours of sleep at night and to avoid overworking. Provide ample breaks so they could rest at work.
It’s essential to familiarize yourself with the bad habits when using a forklift. This way, you can effectively reduce the risk of accidents in your workplace.
Other than the human side of forklift operation, you should also pay attention to the condition of your material handling equipment. Aside from providing our customers with the trusted brand when it comes to forklifts, we can also offer after-sales service which includes scheduled preventive maintenance, forklift repairs, modification, and parts replacement. If you’re interested, you can send us a message here.