Forklifts are crucial to ensure that operations are running smoothly. They can also be a safety hazard in a work environment. As such, there should be safety measures put in place in their operations to avoid unnecessary injuries. You don’t want to be part of the statistics when there are safety measures to be followed. There are some safety devices that forklifts should have, and we’re going to highlight some of them.
Brakes are essential to the functioning of a forklift. When there is a problem with the brakes, there could be serious workplace accidents because it will be hard to control such an industrial truck. Forklift operators complete a safety inspection at the start of every shift. The brakes and the brake lights need to be tested to ensure that they’re working properly. The forklift shouldn’t be used at all if there is an issue with the braking system. Learn more about Forklift Safety Solutions.
The OSHA requires that forklift trucks that were manufactured after 1992 have a restrain or enclosure of some kind. This is because tip-overs cause the majority of forklift accidents. Having seat belts on can help prevent such accidents from happening. The seatbelts will also need to be inspected and repaired regularly, just like any other part of the forklift.
Lights on a forklift play an important role in the communication process. Other than the brake lights, it’s required that a forklift also includes blue safety lights, directional lights, and flashing warning lights. There are forklifts that will come with such lights out of the box, while others will need to be modified.
Noise can also be used as a safety mechanism provided the circumstances are right. It is a requirement by OSHA that all forklift operators have access to an easily accessible horn. It will be easy to alert or warn people around the forklift about the impending movement or operation.
Operators need to be protected from falling items, and this can be done with the help of overhead guards. The operators will still be required to wear helmets for additional protection because it is not always that the falling items will be boxes. If there are repairs that need to be made on the guards, the forklift will have to be decommissioned until the repairs are done.
Having looked at the safety devices that a forklift should have, you might be shopping for a new lift. Since it’s an industrial lift truck, you might have to set a significant amount for the purchase. There are a couple of considerations to have in mind before buying the forklift, and some of them include:
Knowing Your Requirements: There are so many products on the market currently, and you’ll most likely get overwhelmed when you’ve not decided on the requirements for a forklift. To do so, start by identifying your needs. Will I be using the forklift indoors or outdoors? What is the average height for lifting? How wide are the aisles in your warehouse? Are there trained operators to handle such a truck? Asking such questions will give you an idea of what is required from the onset.
Price Considerations: You shouldn’t let the price be the only consideration in the purchasing decision. You might go for the cheapest option that meets minimum requirements but end regretting it because of the truck’s limitations. It is better you spend a little more when there is an assurance of the forklift’s quality and longevity. You also need to make sure that you’re buying from a reputable dealer because the truck will have to be maintained and serviced regularly.
Total Cost of Ownership: The total cost of ownership will go beyond the listed price. You’ll need to invest in training, maintenance, and repairs, inflating the costs if you don’t do your research properly. If you buy quality, you’ll not have to worry about spending a lot of money on repairs as the truck will be built to last.
Having looked at the safety devices required for a forklift, you might also be wondering what factors to keep in mind when buying the forklift itself. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a new or used forklift; the best way to recoup the investment is to have a thorough understanding of your business requirements. There are some significant factors that every prospective forklift buyer should have in mind, and we’re going to highlight some of them.
Investigate Product Quality and Reliability
There are different forklift brands, and each will come with a unique ergonomic design and functionality. Some brands will excel in one area and tail in another. Don’t rush while researching the different brands currently available in the market. You can reach out to other business owners with forklifts to have an idea of the requirements.
Time Vs. Return of Investment
As a potential buyer, it’s essential to keep in mind the main goals for getting the forklift. Do you want to increase workflow productivity and quality of warehouse performance? The total cost of ownership should be factored in when deciding on the type of forklift to buy. The supplier should be able to explain the running costs before signing the purchase deal.
Needs and Wants
You can easily get carried away with the tons of options that are currently available in the market. A good forklift doesn’t necessarily need to have the latest technology. The priority should be on safety and functionality. Filtering through the options requires taking your time with the research process. Spare parts should be readily available to minimize downtime. Keep the needs of your business in mind when assessing the options. A large part of picking the right forklift and safety devices will involve the research process’s exhaustiveness.
Safety should be paramount when operating forklifts. Investing in the right safety devices can improve efficiency as well as avoid lawsuits due to work-related injuries.