Forklifts and Indentifying Hazards

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.

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