How To Safely Operate A Forklift In Indiana

Forklift Operator Safety

Operating a forklift in Indiana is a big responsibility. You’re driving the truck indoors, loading and unloading pallets, and carrying the load across the warehouse, store, or manufacturing facility. You may face various loads, pedestrians, and other forklifts. That’s why being alert and aware of safe forklift operation guidelines is your responsibility as the driver.

Follow these 7 tips on how to safely operate a forklift in Indiana to minimize injuries to you - the driver - and the pedestrians around well as damage to the forklift itself.

  1. Take the time to inspect the forklift before stepping onto it. Look over your truck every day - and before and after each shift. This allows you to spot any leaks or defects that may interfere with operating the forklift.
  2. Fasten the seatbelt every time you’re operating a forklift. The seatbelt is there to protect you in case the vehicle gets into an accident. Without it, you would be thrown out of the forklift. And the truck’s weight might fall on you, causing serious injuries.
  3. Watch out for pedestrians. Is anyone in your blindspot? You’ll want to look around for people walking in your path. They might assume that you see them. So always be aware of where other people are while operating a forklift. At Tynan, we have installed a blue safety light in our facilities. When the blue light is on, it alerts pedestrians that a forklift is approaching. It has helped keep our forklift drivers and our employees safe.
  4. Avoid driving over debris, spills, or any other objects that might throw off your forklift. If you cannot avoid a slippery surface, drive very slowly so that the truck doesn’t swerve.
  5. Be mindful of the center of gravity of the load you’re carrying. Move very slowly with a raised load. The forklift becomes more unstable the higher the load is. And each forklift’s weight limit is different. Check the operating instructions to find out its load capacity.
  6. Pay attention to the actual operation of the forklift. Using earphones and talking on the cellphone may easily distract you from the task at hand - and cause serious damage.
  7. Do not leave the forklift unattended. If you do, remain within 25 feet of it. Make sure that the load is completely lowered and the brakes are set to prevent the truck from moving.

Operating a forklift safely requires you to be aware and alert at all times. And your employer expects you to follow safety guidelines outlined by OSHA, day in and day out.

These tips are simple reminders on operating a forklift safely. For comprehensive training on how to operate a forklift safely in Indiana, consider enrolling in one of our OSHA compliant training courses.

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