What safety procedures should you follow when servicing a forklift truck?
- Permit only qualified persons to service and maintain equipment.
- Wear proper personal protective equipment. Wear goggles when grinding. Wear face shields, aprons, gloves and rubber boots when handling lead-acid batteries or working around battery-charging equipment. Wear leather gloves when changing LPG fuel tanks.
- Disconnect all batteries before doing any work.
- Before servicing LPG forklifts:
- Shut off the tank fuel valve.
- Run the engine until it stops.
- Disconnect the tank from the hose.
- Block the forklift securely when removing wheels.
- Support the forklift hood in upright position or remove to do work.
- Keep the work area clean and well lit.
- Clean spilled oil or hydraulic fluid immediately.
- Check all tools before using.
- Remove all tools and parts before starting the engine.
- Handle batteries with care.
- Avoid contact with battery terminals with hoisting chains, tools and metal objects.
- Cover the battery top with some insulating material.
- Attach a chain hoist to the counterweight before removing it from a forklift.
- Check the bolts holding the counterweight to the body and replace any worn or missing bolts.
- Find out why a forklift is in for repairs before starting or driving it.
- Check the operator's daily checklist before making repairs.
- Inspect by magnetic particle testing the main mast welds and forks annually or when cracks appear.
- Inspect by magnetic particle testing all hoses, couplings, fittings and connections to the cylinders in the main mast assembly and the tilt control system.
- Inspect forks for distorted, twisted or bent sections. If defects are found, test the area of concern.
What should you not do when servicing a forklift truck?
- Do not leave parts, creepers, cans, tools or other obstacles around.
- Do not lift beyond your capacity. Use hoist or leverage tools to lift or move heavy parts or equipment.
- Do not smoke, weld or light a match around refueling and battery-charging areas.
- Do not start a forklift if it is on a lift hoist or wheel stands.
- Do not work on forklift attachments unless you are familiar with their operation.
- Do not work beneath elevated forklift trucks or forks unless they are securely supported by approved blocks.
- Do not run LPG, gas or diesel forklifts in unventilated areas.
Document last updated on October 13, 2006
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