5 Major Hazards of Workplace Forklift Use

  1. Maneuvering. A forklift doesn't move in the same way that a car does. ...
  2. Blind spots. The load being carried can create blind spots for the operator. ...
  3. Load stability. Trucks and their loads can become unstable when operating on inclines, on wet, oily surfaces, and on rough terrain. ...
  4. Fueling. ...
  5. Speed.

There are a number of factors and issues to consider making sure that everyone is in on the safety loop.

Here are five of the more prominent hazards of forklift usage.

1. Maneuvering

A forklift doesn’t move in the same way that a car does. Rear-end steering gives a tight turn radius for the front of the forklift, but the back end of the truck swings wide during a turn. Pedestrians and anyone acting as a spotter to help the driver maneuver must know to allow plenty of clearance around the truck.

2. Blind spots

The load being carried can create blind spots for the operator. The forklift is often operated in reverse to help the driver see the area, so the operator must be comfortable working the controls to drive in reverse. Pedestrians should always stay clear of the driver’s blind spots.

3. Load stability

Trucks and their loads can become unstable when operating on inclines, on wet, oily surfaces, and on rough terrain. Trucks and loads also are less stable when making fast turns and when the load is in the raised position.

The weight and size of the load has an impact on the truck’s stability. Pedestrians and spotters must be aware of the increased instability of a truck with a raised load and position themselves away from the area where a load could fall during pick-up or placement operations.


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