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Creating A Safer Forklift Environment

Forklift stopped in warehouse in between two aisles of racking, with forks down to create a safer forklift environment, rack legs are protected by rack mounted guards

SVL is Ireland’s premier all-in-one impact protection and damage prevention provider. We’re on the ground in warehouses across the country, creating a safer forklift environment is an ongoing challenge.

In this article, we identify the most common risks and outline what measures you can take to reduce damage and accidents.

Forklift Design and Type

Forklifts vary in function, size, weight and construction. Consider these variables when deciding the appropriate speed, the greater the weight, the slower the speed.

Internal Routes

Forklift routes should be assessed and mapped accordingly. Key factors include the number of vehicles in operation and pedestrian traffic. The ceiling heights, surface type and skid capacity will also determine the distance required to stop the vehicle.

Pedestrian Awareness

If pedestrian walkways intersect forklift routes like at a loading bay, slower speed limits are necessary. Also, appropriate markings with clear signage, pedestrian safety barriers and or bollards are imperative.

Vision

A driver’s visibility is key, are there blind spots due to racking, beams or columns? Drivers must not operate in areas of low light. In the instance of carrying a high load, does your premises require a goalpost to warn the driver of imminent danger from above?

Driver Alertness

Ramps, curves, barriers, bollards and bumps in the road are just a few obstacles you need to look out for. Forklift speed must decrease as a ramp declines. Be wary of sharp turning movements, toppling a forklift is not uncommon, especially with a raised load.

Diagram illustrating where a forklift's balance should be maintained, aided by a triangle target stay within to create a safer forklift environment

Centre Of Gravity

A forklift has a three-point suspension system. A visual cue to help a driver understand the forklift’s centre of gravity is the stability triangle. The two base triangle points are found in line with the two front wheels, and the third point(apex) of the triangle is within the rear wheels.

Factors that alter the centres of gravity: ramps, slopes, raised loads, speed, sudden turns, uneven terrain, unbalanced load, heavy loads.

Should you require any further detail on creating a safer forklift environment, or wish to place an order, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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