A forklift operator is in charge of the vehicle and is responsible for personal safety, vehicle operation, load handling, company property and equipment, and the safety of other employees or pedestrians. Only qualified drivers may operate forklifts, as determined by the supervisor based on training and/or licensing. It is the qualified driver’s responsibility to assure that unauthorized persons do not operate the forklift.

If you are a forklift operator, here are some tips to ensure the safety of yourself and others on the job site.


Operator Preparation:
•    Familiarize yourself with the manufacturer’s user instructions.
•    Take all necessary training.
•    Operator certification is required, and records must be available for inspection. Contact Weifield’s Safety Department for training and certification.
•    Determine travel routes prior to operation and notify the affected employees.

Vehicle Preparation:
•    Determine the capacity of the forklift and the size of the load prior to operation.
•    Complete a pre-operational equipment inspection checklist.
•    Take unsatisfactory equipment out of service.
•    Keep the owner’s manual on the forklift at all times.
•    Rated limits must be visible on the lift. These must not be exceeded.
•    Assure that you are in the designated area for operating the forklift.
•    If indoors, assure that there is adequate ventilation for the use of an internal combustion engine.
•    Secure or tie down unstable loads before starting the vehicle.

All those working around the area should be notified before any forklift operation begins. With some attention to safety protocols, people and forklift equipment can cohabitate space effectively.

Until next time, Work Safe & Be Safe!

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