Rider Safety Series, Part 2: Industrial
While proper safety procedures should be observed while operating any industrial vehicle, this article will specifically focus on forklift safety. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration estimates that more than 96,000 serious injuries occur due to forklift accidents every year, therefore it is important to always stress safety while operating forklifts. Here are some brief guidelines the OHSA has posted to help ensure the safety of forklift operators as well as pedestrians:
- Train, evaluate and certify all operators to ensure that they can operate forklifts safely;
- Do not allow anyone under 18 years old to operate a forklift;
- Properly maintain haulage equipment, including tires;
- Before using a forklift, examine it for hazardous conditions which would make it unsafe to operate;
- Follow safe procedures for picking up, putting down and stacking loads;
- Drive safely, never exceeding 5 mph and slow down in congested areas or those with slippery surfaces;
- Ensure that the operator wears a seatbelt installed by the manufacturer;
- Never drive up to a person standing in front of a fixed object such as a wall or stacked materials;
- Prohibit stunt driving and horseplay;
- Do not handle loads that are heavier than the weight capacity of the forklift;
- Remove unsafe or defective trucks from service until the defect is properly repaired;
- Maintain sufficiently safe clearances for aisles and at loading docks or passages where forklifts are used;
- Ensure adequate ventilation either by opened doors/windows or using a ventilation system to provide enough fresh air to keep concentrations of noxious gases from engine exhaust below acceptable limits;
- Provide covers and/or guardrails to protect workers from the hazards of open pits, tanks, vats and ditches;
- Train employees on the hazards associated with the combustion byproducts of forklift operation, such as carbon monoxide.
For your Industrial needs, check out the following tires we offer here at OTR Wheel Engineering, Inc.:
- IND-5 – The IND-5 is designed to be a premium heavy service tire with increased stability and durability due to its superior build quality. It features a deep non-directional tread design, a reinforced sidewall and rim guard, large lugs which provide excellent traction and surface contact, and enlarged beads which allow for increased stability. Purchase a set for your forklift today!
- Traction Master HF3 – The Traction Master HF3 features a directional herringbone tread style which enables it to provide excellent traction and cleaning properties for soft pack sand and firmer ground conditions. Purchase a set for your forklift today!
- Outrigger R4 – The Outrigger R4 is our most popular tire due to its long history of excellent design and performance. It features a directional tread which provides good traction in many different ground operating conditions, a heavier construction that most similar tires, a flat profile, and more. Purchase a set today!
- Lightning – The Lightning for Telehandler tire has a 20 percent larger footprint than its competitor which allows it to sustain exceptional wear and exhibit increased flotation capabilities. It is an innovative tire perfect for Telehandlers. Purchase a set today!
For basic forklift operation safety, the Occupational Safety & Health Administration, or OSHA, has their Powered Industrial Trucks (Forklift) web page outlining safety procedures and tips for forklift Pre-Operation, Traveling and Maneuvering, and Load Handling.
Check out OSHA’s Daily Checklists for Powered Industrial Trucks. These guides are perfect for use as a refresher to standard forklift safety procedures as well as an aid for providing OSHA powered industrial truck operator standards training.
Be sure to also read up on OSHA’s Aerial Lift Quick Card as well as their Aerial Lift Fact Sheet for important procedures to observe while operating any vehicle-mounted device designed to lift personnel into the air. According to OSHA, such vehicle-mounted devices include extendable boom platforms, aerial ladders, articulating boom platforms, and vertical towers. Following these simple procedures will drastically reduce the potential for injury while using the aforementioned devices.