Wherever loading and unloading of goods takes place, there is a high possibility of on site accidents due to system failure or negligence. While operating a forklift, system failure can be checked by pre and post operational inspection. However, there are some mandatory safety rules that operators must follow in order to ensure a safer industry. These rules are taught at length in CN Lift Safety’s Forklift Training Mississauga.

Different rules apply during various forklift operations. Such as:

Mounting/Dismounting
There are chances of slips, falls and trips. Head has to be saved from hitting the overhead cage. Slipping from steps is also a possible risk factor.

Hands should be dry and clean to avoid slipping on handhold. Shoe sole should be grease free to avoid slips and trips. Avoid jumping while mounting and dismounting the truck. Pulling and lowering of body should be a controlled motion. Make sure your footwear sole is not worn out flat. It should have ridges for friction.

Starting/Stopping of forklift
A pre operational inspection is mandatory before you start your forklift. CN Lift Safety’s forklift pre operational checklist comes in handy.

Before you start, make sure you get a clear way. Watch out for any blind spots as anything or anyone can emerge from there.

While stopping, avoid hard braking. It should be done gently and slowly. Put the gear in neutral and engage parking brakes. Kill the engine afterwards. Don’t park in an unauthorised area, in the way of an aisle or exit. Wheel blocking is necessary if you’ve parked on an incline.

Speed Check
Forklift must be operated at a permitted speed and not over it. If the surface is wet or slippery, just slow down. Sound horn at turns and in areas that allow less visibility to warn an oncoming vehicle. Swift turns should be avoided. Especially the snow clad roads in Toronto can be very tricky and maneuvering on such paths is an important part of forklift training.

Turning, Changing directions and Reversing
Bring the truck to a halt before changing directions. Don’t forget that pedestrians have a right of the way. Allow them to pass and sound horn at each turn. Turning on wet and slippery surfaces after a snowfall as in Toronto is riskier than other days and forms an important element of forklift training curriculum.

Reversing is a tricky part owing to reduced visibility and many blind spots. Reverse alarm should be working. Use rear view mirrors, spotters etc to increase visibility.Turn slowly. Rear end swing should be kept in mind before turning. Turn close to inner circumference of corner. Make sure forks are not elevated while turning.

Driving on inclined surfaces
With load upgrade, drive forward when going up a ramp and in reverse while moving down a ramp. Never drive over an inclination with load downgrade.

Parking
Park with neutral controls, engaged parking brake and block wheels (if parked on an inclined surface). A hard level surface is preferred for parking. Don’t block an aisle or exit. Don’t park in unauthorised area. Lifting mechanism should be lowered completely.

Above is just a brief introduction of key safety rules. To safeguard an industry and minimise workplace accidents, it is a must that operators are certified and completely trained. With proper forklift training, it’s possible to reduce risks involved in operating a lift truck.