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Precautions When Operating A Forklift

Forklifts are important pieces of equipment, especially in industrial and construction environments. They can lift large amounts of weight safely with ease. Although a forklift is quite beneficial, certain precautions must be observed to ensure that the work environment around a forklift remains safe. Here are a few of these precautions:

Do not start a forklift while standing beside it.

When operating some motorized vehicles, such as cars, you may feel comfortable turning the ignition switch without actually being seated in the driver's seat. Some automobiles even offer remote starting functions. However, a forklift should never be started until the operator is safely seated in his or her station. This can prevent a forklift from moving while it is not properly controlled by a trained operator.

Do not permit unauthorized passengers.

The balance of a forklift is partially dependent on its proper usage, including the number of people that the machine is designed to support. If a forklift only has one seat, no passengers should ever be permitted. Additionally, if a secondary seat is present, only one passenger should be allowed, and the person should be authorized to ride the forklift.

Stay inside the forklift frame.

The cab or portion of the forklift that houses the operator is usually framed. The parameters of the framework help keep the forklift occupants safe. Forklift passengers and occupants should stay within the frame of the forklift at all times during the operation of the vehicle.

Travel backwards if the load obstructs your view.

If you are unable to see due to the girth of your load, operate your forklift in reverse. It is important that you maintain a clear line of sight at all times. Having a blind spot in your field of vision could quickly result in a serious forklift accident.

Do not permit workers to stand beneath the lift.

The portion of the forklift that carries the load should never be suspended above a worker, even if the forklift is not currently loaded.

Maintain distance between the forklift and other construction vehicles.

The forklift should never follow other vehicles, including other forklifts, too closely. It is best to keep a distance of at least several forklifts between the vehicle and other equipment.

Forklifts should only be operated by fully trained professionals. To learn more about forklifts and how to stay safe when operating them, consult with an industrial or construction safety specialist in your area or visit websites like