How To Load a Forklift Safely

There is a potential for a hundred different accidents in the workplace every day. We created our loading ramps to prevent some of these accidents and help to ensure that the loading and unloading process is made safer. This process starts with forklift operations and the forklift operator. Reviews these following tips for loading a forklift to keep yourself and others safe.

Understand The Forklift’s Limits

Forklift approaching loading rampEach forklift has its limit. Before operating a forklift, review the load limits shown on the data plate. This plate will be located on the forklift and indicates its maximum capacity. This weight limit should be communicated to others who are assisting with loading the forklift. If you are about to stack a new pallet onto the forklift, be aware of the individual weight of each item as well as the total weight of all items. If the weight limit on the forklift is exceeded it can cause damage to the forklift, the operator, the goods, and anyone nearby. An error like this can be very expensive, and deadly. It is better to work safe and efficiently, than fast and reckless.

Inserting the Forks

Before inserting the forks, ensure that the pallet is not damaged. Often an overlooked safety measure, the pallet should be examined before it is stacked. A damaged pallet will lose its structural integrity when raised on the fork and collapse resulting in falling materials and objects. When inserting forklifts into a pallet, ensure that they are evenly spaced from the center. This will prevent the pallet from tilting to one side and tipping over. When inserting the forks, they should be at least two-thirds of the load length

to properly support the weight.

Raising the Load

Before raising the load, ensure that the brakes are engaged. A load should not be lifted or lowered without the brakes engaged. The load should be lifted straight up and titled back slightly if possible. This will keep the weight closer to the front wheels and prevent the forklift from falling forwards.

Navigating a Loading Ramp

When using a portable loading ramp, ensure that you drive up the ramp forwards and down the ramp in reverse when carrying a load. Driving down the ramp forwards can cause the load to shift and possibly slide off of the forks. Also, do not load or unload goods while on a ramp. This can be dangerous for everyone involved as the forklift and goods can be unbalanced when shifting angles.

We are dedicated to keeping all our clients safe. If you are due for a safety check in your warehouse, review the information available on the CCOHS or OSHA to ensure you are compliant and working as safely as possible. For more information on our loading ramps contact Dura-Ramp at 1-877-820-1333.

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