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Dealing With a Workplace Fire

Safety July 11, 2017

workplace fire

As we’ve developed out site and the more that we talk about Materials handling, we’ve come to realize there is a lot of planning in keeping your work place safe, and when you consider  around 55% of businesses that suffer a serious fire never recover.

Workplace fires are a serious issue which is covered by local government, state and national regulations including the Building Code of Australia, Australian Standards and OH&S. An efficient fire safety provider should ensure you are kept informed of any changes in the fire industry and help your business to comply with all relevant local, state and national laws.

Fire Prevention

It is imperative that your business is prepared against fire to reduce risks. Comprehensive risk assessments and a Routine Maintenance Program can prove to be invaluable.

Fire Detection

The early detection of a fire is of utmost importance to ensure all staff have sufficient time to respond and leave the premises safely. Some of the products to assist in fire detection include: smoke alarms; fire alarm panels; engineered detection systems which monitor for smoke, heat or flame; or even a video smoke detection system.

fire in the business

Fire Extinguishing

Rapid containment of any fire is essential to reduce the damage suffered. Once started, fires are difficult to contain without the correct fire equipment.

Regardless of whether the business operates in a warehouse, office building, laboratory or mine, there have been systems designed and developed to aid in the containment of fires.

Equipment which can be useful in fire extinguishing includes: fire extinguishers, fire blankets, fire hoses, fire hydrants and hose reels, sprinkler & deluge systems, foam systems, and various suppression systems.

Fire Evacuation

It is essential that staff are trained in the correct use of fire equipment as well as emergency evacuation procedures. Exit lighting, warning & evacuation systems and fire safety training are all essential.

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Safety Signs In The WorkPlace

Forklift Attachments, Safety July 8, 2017

Safety Signs

In Australia over the last 20 years, Safety has become a huge driver in Materials Handling.  So it is a very obvious thing when you go to a business and see Safety Signs throughout a workplace

Safety signs are generally used as an aid to:

•> Communicate information on hazards
•> Communicate the need for personal protective equipment (where other control strategies are inadequate or impracticable)
•> Communicate the location of safety equipment / emergency facilities (eye wash stations, first aid kit)
•> Give guidance and instruction in an emergency.

There are two main types of safety signs for the occupational environment. These are:

  1. Picture signs which utilize text and symbols to represent the hazard, equipment or process as well as the standard colors and shapes used to convey a message eg. Personal Protective Equipment signs
  2. Signs with text only messages which are supplemented by the use of standard colors and shapes eg. Fire Exit signs

Wherever possible, picture signs (pictograms) should be used.  Due to a large multi cultural workforce, it is easier to identify pictures

Stop and Prohibition signs

Safety Signs

 

 

 

 

 

Circle: white background with red borders and cross bar; black symbol

Caution (warning) signs

Caution signs

 

 

 

 

Triangle: yellow background with black border; black symbol

Emergency information signs

emergency signs

 

 

 

 

 

Rectangle: green background; white symbol

Mandatory signs

mandatory signs

 

 

 

 

 

Circle: blue background; white

As a workplace develops its material handling requirements you will find more and more safety signs going up around the workplace.

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A Forklift Checklist And Why You Need To Use Them

Forklift Attachments, Safety July 5, 2017

Forklift Checklist

It is part of forklift licencing in Australia that before starting a forklift checklist should be completed on the forklift, or what is referred to as a pre-start forklift checklist. Below you can find examples of 4 areas that should be done as part of a Forklift safety checklists that should be carried out by forklift users.

Please note that safety checklists should always be modified to be specific to each individual application and type of equipment, the lists below are intended as a guideline only:

Environmental Checklist

Observe all environmental features and identify hazards such as: power lines; doorways; overhead service lines (inside or outside); bridges; surrounding obstructions; other equipment in area; personnel in area; dangerous materials; railway lines; other hazards unique to the workplace.

Remove any hazards or safeguard the hazards, ensure safety protective clothing is used and explain why used. Ensure the forklift is suitable for the task, eg: height, lift capacity. Check attachments are appropriate for load type. Ensure all site personnel are aware of forklift operation and if any access restrictions are in place for personnel.

Pre-Start Checklist (not applicable for all forklifts, to be used as a general guideline)

1. Look underneath for leaks and obstructions
2. Gas bottle (hose flange, date, and secured properly)
3. Counterweight bolts (secured)
4. Overhead guard
5. Read the load plate
6. Check radiator water
7. Check engine oil
8. Check battery water levels and battery security
9. Check hydraulic fluid
10. Transmission fluid and brake fluid
11. Tyres (inflation, psi and condition) wheels including nuts and debris underneath and around
12. Tilt rams and sideshift, reach etc.
13. Foot guard
14. Lifting chain, equal length and condition
15. Roller bearing
16. Lift ram and mast condition
17. Apron guard
18. Fork locking pins (security of attachments)
19. Cracks in heels of forks wear and tear under heels and toes of forks, forks spread wide enough and equal balance left and right
20. Any other equipment such as mirrors, windscreens, air filters if diesel, if fitted.

After-Start Checklist (not applicable for all forklifts, to be used as a general guide-line)

1. Turn on gas
2. Step on truck and check seat is correctly fitted. Attach seat belt if fitted
3. Start engine
4. Check operation of lift arm
5. Check operation of tilt ram
6. Check steering both stationary and when moving
7. Check operation of horn and lights
8. Check operation of hand and foot brake
9. Warning devices such as reversing beepers, flashing lights
10. Check mirrors and windscreen if fitted

Post-Operational Checklist

Ensure the forklift is parked in a safe place, (away from danger areas such as: access or walkways; exits; first aid facilities; fire fighting equipment; refueling sites; blind corners)

1. Return the steering wheels straight, and apply parking brake
2. Ensure forks are flat and level to the ground or tips are pointing down and touch the ground. Then dismount correctly.
3. Turn gas off, or ensure batteries are connected to recharger unit if required
4. In some cases the key is to be removed to stop unauthorized usage of the forklift truck
5. Then check for any problems that may have arisen during the operation such as: leaks in hydraulics; cracks in forks; tyres and inflation condition.
6. General wear and tear. Any damage to components. Anything caught up underneath etc.

EXAMPLES OF SAFE DRIVING PRACTICES

  • Never stunt drive or fool around especially if persons are nearby.
  • Obey all traffic signs and rules.
  • Slow down on wet or slippery floors and do not drive over debris or any objects on the floor.
  • Slow down and sound horn when at intersections or blind corners.
  • Watch out for objects jutting out from racking.
  • Always keep a clear view ahead and be aware of clearances in your path and turning circle.
  • Keep a safe distance between your truck and other traffic, stay at least three truck lengths between other vehicles.
  • Use the truck safely; always keep it under control at all times.
  • Do not allow passengers to be carried at any time.
  • Make sure there is adequate light to safely see by.
  • Give way to all pedestrians at all times.
  • Check the load plate for its safe working load (SWL)
  • Keep away from edges of docks, ramps or elevated platforms, so you do not accidentally drive over the edge.
  • Always approach and leave aisles slowly.
  • When turning, avoid making contact with obstacles or people by allowing enough turning distances.
  • Safety checks performed each start of shift.

If you find anything wrong with your forklift, you should always report it to your service provider or if you are using it as part of your employment, make sure you report it to your work supervisor.  It is always advised to make sure you have a copy of your forklift checklist on kept on hand.

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Do You Have The Right Forklift Tyres ?

Forklifts, Safety February 4, 2017

forklift tyres

Forklifts have so many different specifications, when it comes to capacities, lift heights and attachments.  Well its no different when it comes to forklift tyres, you have a few different options such as cushion Tyres, pneumatic tyres, solid tyres or polyurethane.

Well there there is also the option of solid filling your pneumatic tyres.  It basically includes ‘In-fill’ materials (for Pneumatic Tyres) and ‘In-fill’ materials include sprays, rubber foams and urethane fills.

Along the way in developing these fill products, there have been many problems associated with these types of fillings,  they have tended to leave voids in the material. The latest urethane/rubber fillings, which are not a foam, are put into the tyre as a liquid, then pressurized and cured.

Over the last 10 to 15 years a number of proprietary items have been marketed to prevent punctures in pneumatic tyres, but very few have been successful until recently.

Advantages of ‘In-fill’ materials

The advantage of ‘in-fill’ materials is that the tyre —

(a) can operate at higher speed ratings than the resilient type of tyre;

(b) gives similar ride characteristics to the pneumatic tyre; and

(c) completely avoids ‘down-time’ on expensive machines which operate on difficult sites and away from a service point. Obviously you don’t get punctures with a Solid Filled Pneumatic forklift tyre, so it will save you from down-time with less tyre punctures.

Disadvantages of ‘In-fill’ materials

The one biggest disadvantage of ‘in-fill’ materials is that once the tyre is pressurized it cannot be altered to obtain more or less flotation.

With the above in mind, before you are looking to solid fill your pneumatic forklift tyres, you should always talk to your Industrial tyre supplier before you go down the solid filling route to ensure it’s the right thing for your operating environment.

You also need to way up the cost of solid filling vs. buying a solid puncture proof tyre, as its usually charged by the Kilo and can get quote expensive.

Once you wear out the tyres that has been solid filled, it can also be a problem and getting the remaining tyre off the rim so a new tyre can be fitted.  You can potentially damage the rim.

So there you are, if you are looking at solid filling your pneumatic forklift tyres, we are not saying don’t do it, we are just saying be aware of what you are doing it for.

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How to Store a Forklift for a Long Time

Safety December 7, 2016

How to store a forklift

We’ve already taken a took at how to store a forklift for a short period of time, But sometimes you might need to store your forklift for longer than 6 months.  So we wanted to help give some instruction for Long Term Storage of your forklift.

6 Months – Long–Term Storage

If you are looking to store your forklift, make sure you do the following steps to prepare the forklift for storage for 6 months or longer:

  1. Make sure you complete all the short–term storage procedures.
  1. Wrap or cover all exterior lights, radiator grille, and air vents with a moisture barrier cover. Use tape to hold the covers in position.
  1. Make sure you remove the batteries from the forklift. Just make sure you store the batteries in an approved space. Be sure to follow whatever your local regulations are. Batteries that are stored for long periods can become damaged so we recommend that you try to use the batteries elsewhere if you can .
  1. Also spray exterior surfaces and the frame with a preservative coating.

Following the above steps will help you preserve your forklift and help keep its value.

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What Exactly is a Forklift PM Service

Safety December 5, 2016

Forklift PM Service

When it comes to owning a forklift, a lot of owner’s forget to think about how to keep their forklift maintained.  So we want to take a look at exactly is a forklift PM SERVICE.

A PM service, or a Preventative Maintenance service, is the  maintenance schedule that the Original Equipment Manufacturer recommends for the forklift that they manufacture.  Quite simply if you think in the terms of your car, you need to get it serviced as per the manufactures recommendation every 15 000 Klms (Or what ever it is), it is the same with your forklift.

One of the major differences is the way it is calculated, generally a forklift is fitted with a Hour Meter instead of a Speedo.  Depending on the type of forklift and the recommendations, you can generally expect to be servicing a 2500 KG forklift every 250 hours or every 3 months.

Generally included in a 250 hour service is :

  • Changing of engine oil
  • Changing of Engine oil filter
  • Checking – Drive belt
  • Checking LPG system (If fitted)
  • Checking Engine Idle Speed

How often should you service your Forklift

The quickest way to work out how often your forklift needs servicing. Is to take a note of the hour meter at the start of the week then again at the end of the week.  After determining how much you use your forklift, you can then talk to a service agent about a Preventative Maintenance Service schedule.

Generally most forklift dealers will offer an annual fixed price service schedule for your forklift.  Generally most forklift dealers will suggest how often you should have a basic service performed (oil and filter change, battery check, fluids topped off as well as a host of other items).

Generally we suggest talking to a forklift dealer that can set up your service automatically and come out to service your forklift on an agreed regular basis.

Why do Preventative Maintenance Servicing

By servicing your forklift before you have trouble, you can catch many things (a worn belt, for example) that can be taken care of before it becomes a problem and your forklift stops running.

Just remember a Forklift PM service is less expensive than a service call and it will generally only take between one hour to two hours.

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Operation and Maintenance of Your Forklift

Safety November 25, 2016

To operate a forklift in Australia, you need to have a Forklift licence, many people just forget the second they have their forklift licence, what their supposed to check before they start operation of a forklift.  Keep in mind that it is the businesses responsibility to make sure the the right procedures are followed.

Before you start the forklift, its important to ensure that it is in safe working order, ready to be used and capable of completing the task required of it. A business smart practice is to develop and implement a system of work that nominates the person who will ensure the safety checking occurs, e.g. a manager or supervisor.

Make sure your operators know to report any damage to your employer, supervisor, manager  or employee safety representative immediately.

If any damage or problems are noticed that are needing immediate repairs isolate the forklift so it cannot be used.

Make sure you get your operators to complete a checklist as part of your pre-operational  routine (example below).  This is an important part of any effective maintenance program, if you are using a new or different forklift.  This checklist will help you become familiar with the machine.

Pre-operation Forklift Checklist

Forklift operators should do the following before starting :

  • Tyres : Check all for wear or damage, and pressure  (if applicable)
  • Fluids: Check all for wear or damage, fuel and coolant
  • Seating:  Check the condition and adjustment
  • Warning devices: Check lights, horns, reversing beeper, and flashing light
  • Capacity: Check for signs of wear to the lift chains and guides
  • Hydraulic cylinders and hoses:  Check  for any leaks
  • Tynes: Check for excessive wear, damage, cracks or repairs
  • Seatbelt: Make sure it is in good working order (if fitted)
  • Guarding: Check that all guards are in place

Once started

  • Controls: Check that all pedals and controls operate correctly
  • Brake: Check that all (including parking brake) operate correctly

This list is far from exhaustive, and can be added to at any time, and developed for specific pieces of equipment or the particular environment that you are operating your forklift in. If you are stuck for ideas you can always contact your local dealer.

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FORKLIFTS and Rated Capacity

Safety November 23, 2016

All forklifts have a rating, which is the maximum weight that they are designed to lift safely, often referred as SAFE WORKING LOAD (SWL) or WORKING LOAD LIMIT (WLL).  Depending on the type of forklift depends on how they are actually calculated.

Counterbalanced forklifts

The rated capacity for counterbalanced trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that a truck is designed to transport and stack, operating on a hard level surface, with the mast vertical, with maximum lift height and at load-centre distances.

Reach and straddle trucks

The rated capacity of reach and straddle trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that a truck is designed to transport and stack, operating on a hard level surface with the mast vertical, with maximum lift height and at load-centre distances.

Four-direction trucks, single-side-loading trucks, order-picking high-lift trucks and turret type high-lift trucks

The rated capacity of four-direction trucks, single-side-loading trucks, order-picking high-lift trucks, and turret type high-lift trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that a truck is designed to transport and stack, operating on a hard level surface, with any lateral leveling mechanism leveled, with maximum lift height and at a specified load-centre distance as specified in AS 2359.3.

Low-lift platform trucks and pallet trucks

The rated capacity of low-lift platform trucks and pallet trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that the truck is designed to transport, operating on a hard level surface.

Rough terrain lift trucks

The rated capacity of rough terrain lift trucks shall be expressed as the maximum load in kilograms that the truck is designed to support and stack, operating on rough terrain, with the mast vertical, with maximum lift height and at load-centre distances as follows:

(a) For rated capacity supported by forks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 500 mm or 600 mm.

(b) For rated capacity supported by attachments . . . . . . . . . . . the specified distance.

Remember, whenever you add an attachment to a forklift, (ie. Work cage, slippers, e.t.c), you must get the Forklift re rated by the Original Equipment Manufacturer.

379 total views, 1 today

Forklifts and Indentifying Hazards

Safety November 19, 2016

In warehouses, factories, shipping yards, freight terminals and other workplaces across Australia, forklifts are used to lift, stack and transfer loads.

While forklifts offer a practical materials handling solution for many businesses, each year they continue to be associated with workplace deaths and injuries. The human and financial cost of forklift-related incidents for employees, industry and the community is substantial, and in the most part completely avoidable, especially when employees and employers work together to improve health and safety at work.

A lot of new Forklift operators struggle when they first get their Forklift licence, to identify the risk and hazards around the area that they will be operating the forklift  in.

FORKLIFT DANGERS

Forklifts are manoeuvrable and they are designed to be compact, but when carrying loads they can become unstable under certain circumstances. Fully laden, a standard two tonne forklift can weigh approximately five tonnes in total. With lower stability, and greater manoeuvrability combined with uncontrolled traffic areas in workplaces you’ll understand why forklifts are involved in so many incidents.

Even at low speeds, forklifts can cause serious injuries and fatalities.

It’s not just the employee using the forklift who can be injured; pedestrians can be crushed against a wall or an object or another vehicle.

Don’t wait until there’s an injury or death at your workplace before developing a safe system of work to control risks.  So here are some basic Hazards and some simple rectifications that you can use to negate the Hazard in your workplace, ensuring that your operators have a safe day operating forklifts in your business.

Hazard

Danger to persons not aware of the forklift operating in area.

Rectification

Overhead flashing light operates when ignition key is switched on.

Hazard

Damage to person at rear of forklift when forklift is reversing.

Rectification

Warning beeper and reverse light is activated when in reverse gear.

Hazard

Lift/lower and tilt levers could be mistaken or confused

Rectification

Decals or lever handles clearly shown operation.

Hazard

forklift tips forward when lifting over rated capacity.

Rectification

Load capacity plate fitted to forklift and should never be exceeded

Hazard

Operator slipping while getting on and off forklifts.

Rectification

Step has been fitted to allow safe mount and dismount from forklift.

375 total views, 0 today

Forklift Attachments and 4 Ways To Get The Best From Them

Safety November 17, 2016

Forklift Attachments

One of the most common forklift attachments is a set of slippers.  Some times your load you are picking up might be a little longer then you might usually pickup.  That’s where a set of forklift slippers or tyne extensions come in handy, as a quick and easy solution.

That is where you are wrong.  Quick yes, easy far from it..

As with any attachment you put onto a forklift, it can and will reduce the lifting capacity of the unit.  There are some things you need to consider when putting a set of slippers onto a forklift :

  • Load size

As a general rule of thumb, the fork tyne should be at least 75% of the length of load that it is picking up.

  • Reduction is lifting capacity

    The forklift will lift LESS the further you further you extend the load center.  It is highly recommended in going to the Forklift Manufacturer, to get a rating done so you know just how much you can really lift with a bigger load center.

  • Rating plate

    Now this has absolutely no bearing on what the forklift can lift. But under current law in Australia, when you start using attachments on forklifts, you must have the forklift rated and the ACTUAL LIFTING CAPACITY of the forklift with attachment put onto the DATA COMPLIANCE PLATE  – ITS THE LAW, so don’t get caught.

  • Operator training

This is one of the most forgotten, when something changes with the forklift, you need to ensure that the operator is trained in using the machine properly.  If its you driving then no problems, but if you employ people to drive for you, spend the time showing them how it works, and keep a copy for your training records.

When using forklift and attachments it is all about training and safety, it doesn’t take much. Keep in mind there are plenty of static attachments and hydraulic attachments out there that can be used on forklifts, talk to your dealer about what you requirements are.

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