Utilizing a Standard Counterbalance forklift
1 Prior to utilizing the equipment, carry out a pre-shift inspection. OSHA guidelines do state that pre-shift checklists need to be carried out every day or every shift. Each different equipment and its attachments has its own checklist listing steering, brakes, lights, emergency brakes, controls, horn and safety features.
2 When starting up the machine and check the controls, it is vital to make sure that the seatbelt is fixed firmly and the seat has been adjusted for your maximum comfort. Look underneath the machinery after you move it for any signs of leaks. The operation of every type of forklift is different.
3 Don't forget differences in the basics of lift truck operation as opposed to a regular vehicle. The forklift's rear end swing happens due to the fact that the truck steers using its rear wheels. Disregarding this fact is a main reasons for accidents and injuries to workers. The almost 90-degree turn from the front wheels should be made with great care. These top-heavy machinery have a high center of gravity even without a load. When transporting or lifting a load this top-heaviness is exacerbated.
4 Keep forks near the floor when traveling. Use care when approaching loads. Be sure the forks line up correctly with the pallet. Lift the load just as high as is required, tilting it back to help stabilize the equipment. Only drive backwards if the load is so bulky that it interferes with driver vision.
5 Check the wheels on trailers/trucks prior to unloading and loading. Do not travel on slopes, especially when lifting a load. The machine can tip over on a slope. When driving on an incline is necessary, always drive up the slope and back down. The load should be kept on the uphill side of the truck.
6 The lift truck driver should always be in firm control at all times. Tipping over is the main cause of operator injuries. The operator must never try to jump out of the truck in the event of a tip-over. The safest method is to lean away from the direction of fall while holding the steering wheel and bracing your feet.