Forklifts are used on a daily basis in many industrial facilities. This type of equipment can make the process of lifting and moving heavy materials considerably easier. However, certain precautions should be taken in order to prevent forklift-related accidents. Here are two such precautions.
Check the condition of the equipment's hydraulic cylinders on a regular basis
A forklift's hydraulic cylinders enable its forks to become elevated. If these components develop a fault which causes them to malfunction whilst the equipment's forks are in the process of lifting a collection of heavy objects, there could be disastrous consequences.
For example, if the hydraulic cylinders were to suddenly collapse, the forks could fall to the floor. This could result in the materials they were being used to transport falling onto nearby employees. If these materials are heavy, the impact caused by being struck by them could leave these staff members with broken bones or large wounds.
If the materials are hazardous (for instance, if they consist of toxic chemicals or extremely sharp tools), the people that they fall on could sustain serious chemical burns or deep lacerations.
As such, it is crucial for those tasked with using forklifts in industrial settings to check the condition of the equipment's hydraulic cylinders on a regular basis. When performing this inspection, they should look for signs of corrosion on the rods and bearings (as this could lead to the development of a hole that could allow the hydraulic fluid to seep out), as well as warping of the hydraulic seals (this, too, could cause a leak).
Should they discover any problems, they should arrange for the damaged cylinders to be fixed by a hydraulic cylinder repair technician. The forklift should not be used (even for very quick lifting operations) until the issue has been fully resolved.
Be careful when loading the forks
The way in which a forklift's forks are loaded can play a determining role in whether or not the equipment causes an accident.
First and foremost, the person placing the materials onto the forks should make sure that the total weight of the items they intend to transport does not exceed the equipment's maximum load limit. If the loads weighs too much, the forklift could fall forwards when being driven. This could result in nearby employees being crushed by the load or by the equipment itself.
Secondly, the person performing this task should ensure that the heaviest items are positioned at the base of the load; this will reduce the likelihood of the materials tumbling off the forks and striking someone when the equipment is in motion.