Fork lift trucks (FLTs) are flexible, useful pieces of work equipment that help with the lifting and transportation of goods, but they are often misused and people try to cut corners with them – either by speeding, overloading them or allowing them to be operated when damaged.
10 Top Tips for the Safe Use of Fork Lift Trucks
- Keep FLTs and pedestrians separate, by having clearly defined segregated routes for both. Always choose a physical barrier over just a marked walkway where possible, and ensure these are regularly checked for damage and wear and tear.
- Ensure that all FLT activities are fully risk assessed, and implement control measures to reduce the risk of people being harmed.
- Give workers a way of reporting bad habits and practices in a blame-free environment, perhaps via health and safety representatives if they are worried.
- Implement speed limits and limit reversing where possible.
- Always ensure there is good lighting and visibility. Remove blind corners and keep flooring in a good condition and free from obstacles.
- Make sure all the safety features on the FLT are used and are working – this includes reversing lights and alarms, mirrors, and seatbelts. Introduce pre-use checks – it’s a good idea to have a written checklist for users to complete. Any defects should be reported and the equipment taken out of use until rectified.
- Ensure operators have the necessary training for the type of FLT they will be using, which also includes the types of activities undertaken. Organise refresher training at suitable intervals for all operatives.
- Remove the keys when not in use to prevent un-authorised access.
- Ensure that FLTs owned or operated by you are under a scheme of thorough examination by a competent person – often this is done by the insurance company.
- Do make sure you know what the maximum weight limits are for each FLT you use, in conjunction with the height and load centre.
Contact us if you require information.