Forklift safety will always be the number one priority for all warehouse and construction workers. The reason it’s so vital to learn tips for operating a forklift safely on a construction site is that it ensures no one ends up in an accident. Here are more tips to know when driving a telehandler on the construction site.
Wear a Seat Belt
When working on any type of vehicle, including heavy machinery, it’s important to wear a seat belt to avoid falling out in the event of a crash. OSHA’s current policy requires that if seat belts are on the equipment, they must be used at all times while operating.
When you wear a seat belt, you reduce the risk of accidents; if you do crash, the seat belt ensures you won’t fall out of the vehicle.
Read Load Charts
While working on the lift, you need to learn that not every load chart is the same. For example, just because the advertised maximum weight is 10,000 pounds, that doesn’t actually mean that the lift can hold that much without tipping over.
Many workers get confused by the advertised weight capacity and don’t realize that the capacity of the forklift changes depending on the attachment, height, and the extent to which they are extending the boom to place or pick up a load. When the boom extends, the required weight of the lift increases significantly. If you want to avoid tipping, pay attention to the amount of weight you place on the forks.
It’s vital to inspect the worksite before entering the area with a forklift. Telehandlers are big, and they have many more blind spots than other classes of forklift. Before entering the area with the forklift, you should walk the path you plan to follow. Avoid and, if possible, remove any stationary objects that may impede the safe operation of the forklift. You should also avoid any areas where the ground will not support the truck and its load.
As you progress through your rough terrain forklift certification training program, you will learn more about the potential hazards that stand between you and your drop-off point.
Know Your Terrain
Something that operators often get wrong is that they don’t fully understand that there isn’t a “one shoe fits all” scenario when it comes to forklifts. It’s important to choose the correct forklift and setup based on the type of terrain you will be operating it on. For example, some telehandlers work better when they operate on smooth to rocky surfaces but become incapacitated on muddy terrain.
It is possible for operators to get their machines trapped in mud or other soft materials. The answer to this issue is to study your surroundings before you move the truck and its load.
Now that you know a few more tips for operating a forklift safely on a construction site, you can start operating smarter. Get yourself and your workers involved in inspecting the worksite and inspecting your lifts often.
First Quality Forklift Training provides programs that help operators learn more about the telehandler’s class and what to expect when driving this type of machine. For more information on our forklift certification training class, contact us here.