With winter rapidly approaching it is time to think about how changes in weather, etc. can impact the safe operation of forklifts in three key areas.
Along with winter comes a shorter amount of daylight, an increase in fog, rain, hail, snow, mud, and ice, which can impact visibility.
- Inspect your facility for adequate lighting.
- Ensure forklift lights and wipers are fully functional. Remove ice and mud from windshield before operation.
- Wear appropriate clothing (rain gear, warm clothing, gloves, hats; no hoodies which can restrict visibility). When operators are cold they may be distracted from the safe operation of their forklift.
- Since visibility may be restricted encourage pedestrians working in forklift areas to wear high visibility clothing.
Changes to the operating surface (caused by rain, snow, hail, ice) can reduce the maneuverability of forklifts.
- Be extremely cautious in areas near doorways into buildings which often become wet or icy due to forklift traffic, as well as slopes.
- Slow down when your stopping distance increases. Increase your following distance; consider traction devices such as chains for outdoor driving as necessary.
- Use some type of ice melt in icy areas.
Ice or snow on your forks, on dunnage, or on the bottom of your load may cause your load to shift on your forks.
- Allow your hydraulics to warm up to improve their functionality.
Clean any snow off your forks before picking up a load.
- Reduce your speed when transporting loads, especially when cornering.
- Don’t tilt forward when stacking until the load is almost in position.
- Beware of icy truck beds which may cause loads to slide off.
If you would like to share your experiences/photos of forklift incidents that can educate others on the principles of safe forklift operation please send them to: bhulberg@D2000safety.com
We will not publish company or individuals names.
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