Each year thousands of accidents occur in UK warehouses as a result of forklifts tipping over. Not only can such accidents cause serious injury, in some cases injuries can be fatal.
In April this year, a company in North Yorkshire was fined £135,000 and ordered to pay £46,000 in costs after a forklift truck operator was killed when his vehicle overturned.
By following health and safety legislation and teaching employees to use the equipment safely, forklift accidents can be prevented. Here are a few ways to prevent your forklift tipping over.
Operating a forklift requires skill and in order to control a forklift safely, the operator must be well trained. Only those with a licence should be allowed to operate the equipment. A good forklift truck operator understands the importance of following health and safety rules and will ensure they’re using equipment safely.
Abide by safety measures
Operators should wear appropriate safety wear including a hard hat, safety shoes and a hi-visibility jacket. Loose clothing which could get caught on machinery must not be worn and hands must be clean and dry. Injuries are often sustained when operators are thrown from their seat when their forklift tips over. This can be prevented by ensuring all operators wear seatbelts.
Conduct routine checks
Operators must carry out routine checks of the equipment before using them. Brakes, steering, controls, warning devices and tyres should be checked for any obvious signs of wear or damage.
Use the right forklift for the job
Every forklift has a load rating chart which indicates how much weight can be lifted and where on the fork this weight needs to be placed. The forklift’s load capacity must never be exceeded.
Pay attention to the centre of gravity
To prevent forklifts tipping over, the centre of gravity must stay between the tires of the machine. If operators try to lift items that are greater than the forklift’s limits, the centre of gravity will be altered and the forklift could tip over.
Don’t take any short cuts
Forklift accidents sometimes occur because operators try to work around obvious faults in the machinery or attempt to lift heavier loads than the forklift can manage. Operators that choose to take shortcuts to save time or resources are putting the safety of themselves and others at risk.