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8 Tips on How to Use a Forklift Safely

For many businesses, the forklift is an integral part of operations. Here are 8 tips for operators and owners on how to ensure it’s used safely in the workplace.

For industrial companies in Singapore, the forklift is a key piece of machinery–a simple but imperative means to move and transfer loads and material. While operating a forklift may seem straightforward, it’s important that only trained personnel handle this machine as it affects not only workplace safety but overall efficiency and productivity as well.

That’s why we’ve put together 8 safety tips for you and your workers to keep forklift operations as smooth as possible:

1. Ensure the worker has a forklift licence. This assures you that they have been trained with OSHA & WSH standards. Don’t forget: It is illegal to drive a forklift in Singapore without a forklift licence. In fact, the Ministry of Manpower actually recommends a refresher course every 3 years to avoid getting into trouble due to careless driving.

2. Make sure your operators are dressed appropriately. The ideal forklift operator wears a hard hat, safety shoes, and a hi-visibility jacket on top of comfortable clothing that is easy to move in but not too loose.

3. Inspect the forklift. Operators should check that the machine is working well before use every single day. What should you inspect? Our top three recommendations include tyre condition, brake function, and lifting capacity. If there is notable damage, they should not operate the forklift and report it to management instead.

4. Pay attention to your surroundings while operating the forklift. This ensures your operator’s safety and the safety of others within the area and includes avoiding any spots with hazards, like bumps, uneven ground, or loose objects. For additional safety measures, you might want to look into forklift cameras for an additional set of eyes.

5. Pay attention to the capacity of the forklift they are operating. The maximum load capacity of a forklift is around 80% of the forklift tonnage capacity, and workers should take care to stay within this allowable capacity. If the forklift is unstable, it may be carrying too much, and workers should lessen the load.

6. This is a marathon, not a race. Remind your forklift operators that there is no need to drive the forklift at high speeds. (And as a forklift owner, you’re just as liable when a workplace accident involving the forklift happens.) All forklift operators should take care when stopping, turning, or changing directions and stay safely within the acceptable speed limit while operating the machine. If you need a speed limit to be installed in your forklift, Scantruck can help with that–feel free to give us a call.

7. Check the forklift’s fuel and charge. The forklift should be fully fueled and recharged before operating. You don’t want an empty tank in the middle of doing a job!

8. Park the forklift in its designated area. Last but not least, workers should not leave the forklift where it may block pathways, exits, or entrances. There should be a designated parking area for all forklifts and the vehicles must be turned off before the workers end their shifts.

In Singapore and West Malaysia, Scantruck is the sole distributor of the Komatsu forklift, a 100% Japan-made, reliable brand. If you need more information on forklifts and how to operate and maintain them, check out our services online or contact us at 6305 6600.

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