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4 Tips For Using A Rented Forklift Safely

If your business does not use a forklift on a regular basis, and only rents one out for the occasional job or project, you need to take special care and make sure that all your employees know how to use and act safely around a forklift when you rent one. Here are some safety tips and guidelines that you need to go over with your employees.

#1 Only Employees With Proper Training Can Use The Forklift

Even if you only rent and use a forklift occasionally, you still need to ensure that whichever employees you assign to use the forklift have received proper training. In many states, you need a specific license in order to even operate a forklift. Make sure that everyone knows who is authorized and trained to use the forklift and make sure that everyone understands that no one else is to operate the forklift, even just to move it a few feet, who does not have the proper license and training. 

#2 Proper Clothing Must Be Worn

Whenever the machine is in use, proper clothing must be worn by the operator. The operator must wear safety shoes that are sturdy, have traction and cover their entire foot. They also need to wear a hard-hat and a high-visibility vest or safety jacket. 

Any additional clothing that they have on needs to fit reasonably close to their bodies; loose fitting clothing could get caught up in the forklift. 

#3 Forklift Should Always Be Inspected Before Use

Next, the assigned operator should always do a safety check before starting up the equipment; they should never fire it up for "just a second" without doing a safety check. During the check, they should make sure that all the controls, warning devices, mast, tires, brakes and steering all appear to be working properly and have not been damaged. 

#4 Work To Avoid Hazards

Since your business does not frequently use forklifts, use a signal to alert everyone that the forklift is in operation, such as a bell. That way, all your employees will know to be on the lookout for the forklift.

Make sure your operator only uses the forklift at low speeds within your business area. They should stop and start the forklift gradually, and check multiple times before changing directions. When backing up or going around a blind corner, they should lightly beep their horn to alert others that they are approaching. 

Since your operators do not work with forklifts on a regular basis, stress to them that they should only move small loads at a time. They should never exceed the capacity of the forklift or move more than they feel comfortable moving.

If you follow the four safety tips above, you should be able to rent and use a forklift on an occasional basis at your place of business without running into any complications. Make sure that only a trained employee operators the forklift, and make sure all your other employees stay back from the forklift and give it plenty of room to operate.