Using Forklifts in Construction Sites
What should you keep in mind when operating forklifts for construction?
- Proper and accurate planning
- Correct forklift operation
- Forklift parking reminders
- Work environment awareness
In the Philippines, forklifts are used because of their versatility. You’ll be able to see them in almost every kind of industry. One of the most popular places where you’d be able to find forklifts are construction sites.
Along with bulldozers and excavators in the Philippines, forklifts are a staple in every kind of construction. Its prowess as a material handling equipment is nothing more than extraordinary and nothing less than efficient.
With that being said, what a forklift does in a construction site is immediately apparent. It’s basically used to transport pallets of construction materials from delivery trucks to job sites. Oftentimes, they even help in lifting people, that is, with some safety precautions beforehand.
Forklifts are so popular that most construction and shipping firms carry truck-mounted ones everywhere in order to easily offload materials.
What needs to be clarified are the standards that are implemented to ensure the safety of the forklift operator and the people around it. This is something everyone that works with forklifts should know and understand very well. Take a look at this list of safety reminders you need to take note of when you’re using forklifts in a construction site:
Proper and Accurate Planning
Before using forklifts in a construction site, it’s important to plan out the project thoroughly. Make the layout of your plan as detailed as possible. Be precise in identifying which area is which and where the safest routes for vehicle movement are.
Make sure that there’s the least amount of distance between the material storage and the construction being done. This way, forklifts or any other kinds of material handling equipment will only need to make the shortest trip or cycle possible when delivering materials.
The best way to ensure that a construction site is as safe as possible is by making sure that the preparations that were made were done so with safety and efficiency in mind. By doing so, not only will the forklift operators be as safe as they can be, but the whole project will have the bare minimum of safety risks.
Correct Forklift Operation
Forklifts used for construction sites aren’t the same as the ones used in indoor applications. These are usually bigger, stronger, and more durable. With its parts particularly made for outdoor applications, these forklifts are basically muscular versions of those used in warehouses.
Going back, every operator of these forklifts in the Philippines should remember some of the most important and basic safety measures that come with it. Listed below are some of the many precautions:
- When driving a loaded truck up a ramp, always do so going forward. When driving downward, go in reverse, with the load topside.
- When driving an unloaded truck, make sure that the forks are downgraded.
- Never drive a forklift with the load downgrade
- Do not turn a forklift when you’re currently on a grade.
Forklift Parking Reminders
It’s important to take note that even while just parked, forklifts can be a hazard when the people around it don’t understand what could happen. That’s why it’s the responsibility of the forklift operator to park a forklift in a place that is safe and secured. Below are a few reminders to ensure proper forklift parking in a construction site:
- Always park on a hard and leveled surface. Never park on a grade unless the forklift is blocked from slipping downward.
- Park forklifts in authorized areas only (unless the forklift is disabled). Stay clear of fire aisles, stairways, and fire safety equipment.
- When parked, the forklift should have its lifting mechanism fully lowered.
- Leave all of the controls that the forklift has in a neutral state when parked.
- Make sure that you tilt the mast forward slightly so that the forks are touching the floor.
Work Environment Awareness
Just as how those who operate excavators in the Philippines should be very alert every time they use the machine, forklift operators should also have a good sense of awareness all around it. In general, anyone that is working in a construction site should always be alert for hazards from any given area because even with the best preparation possible, chances are there will be at least a few high-risk areas.
This gets doubly important for heavy equipment operators. The machines they’re using are usually large and can have blind spots where they can’t see anything. That’s why they need to be extra careful not to hit anyone or anything along their path.
As versatile and useful as forklifts naturally are, they will always need at least a few of safety precautions when operators use it. By following the safety reminders above, every forklift operator will be able to ensure that the construction sites they work in will be that much safer from unexpected hazards.