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Working with forklifts

Forklifts, share the hazards of fixed machinery (see previous section), but also have the additional hazards associated with vehicle movement, namely pedestrian or vehicle impacts, overturning, and load instability.

Managing hazards

  • Forklifts must only be driven by trained and certified operators.
  • No person may 'ride' on mobile plant other than the driver.
  • The forklift must be fitted with suitable overhead protection to shield the operator from falling loads.
  • Travel with the load down, (and mast retracted) and do not lift or lower whilst travelling.
  • Drive backwards down inclines or when forward vision is obscured by the load or mast.
  • Do not overload the truck.
  • Be aware of overhead clearances both when travelling or when transferring loads to and from racking locations.
  • Forklifts must never operate within 4.0m of overhead electric cables, unless the power supply has been isolated.
  • Be aware of pedestrians.
  • Do not extend arms out of the driver compartment, as they may be crushed against fixed objects.
  • Never raise a person on the forks, unless in a properly constructed and securely affixed safety cage.
  • Cross slippery or uneven surfaces with extreme caution.

Emergency procedures

If the truck begins to overturn, do not attempt to jump clear. The seat is the safest place. Where instability of racking or a pallet load is noted at height, do not attempt to rectify it using the forks.