Who can operate the forklift?
In general, forklift trucks should be operated only by experienced workers who are trained, certified or licensed as professional operators. Some jurisdictions specify that only a "competent" person may operate powered lift trucks and others may specify a minimum operator age (eg. 18 years or older). Consult your local occupational health and safety authorities for more information.
What should an operator do when operating the forklift truck?
- Know the recommended load limit of the forklift and never exceed it.
- Know how to assess the weight of the load to be lifted.
- Do a visual and operational check of the forklift at the start of the shift.
- Always inspect and wear any seat belt or operator restraint device/system when these devices are available on the forklift truck.
- Check for adequate overhead clearance before raising the load.
- Operate a forklift smoothly when stopping, starting, lifting and tilting.
- Know the blind spots of the lift truck with and without a load.
- Keep pedestrians away from a forklift in operation.
- Stop when anyone crosses the route being traveled. Lower the load to the floor, and wait until clear.
- Operate only as fast as conditions safely permit.
- Wear leather gloves when moving or shifting loads or when checking skids.
- Wear fully laced safety boots to give impact protection when moving loads or skids and to provide ankle support when mounting and dismounting lift truck.
- Remain alert and prepare for the unexpected.
- Note anything that affects the normal operation of the forklift and tell the supervisor immediately.
- Keep hands, arms, head, feet and legs inside the confines of a moving forklift.
- Stay in the truck in case of overturn.
- Report any collisions, damage or near-miss accidents to a supervisor immediately.
What should an operator avoid when operating a forklift truck?
The operator should avoid:
- Trying to move or adjust any part of the load, the forklift or the surroundings when on the forklift.
- Lifting a load that extends above the load backrest unless no part of the load can possibly slide back toward the operator.
- Allowing anyone but the operator to ride on the forklift.
- Using pallets elevated by forklifts as an improvised working platform.
- Allowing anyone to stand or walk under the elevated part of any forklift, whether loaded or unloaded.
Document last updated on September 1, 2008
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