Forklift Safety Tips – Situational Awareness

June 1, 2017
Posted by: Justin Engel

In advance of International Forklift Safety Day, June 13th, 2017, Stärke is releasing several forklift safety lists to help ensure that you, your employees and/or coworkers are as safe as possible while operating a forklift.  To start our series off, our first list covers an extremely important safety skill regardless of the application – that of situational awareness.

Weighing in at several tonnes and 13+ feet in length, your average forklift becomes an imminent safety hazard if operated by a careless driver who is not aware of their surroundings at all times.  In a busy warehouse, for example, even a slight misstep can lead to thousands of dollars in damage to products and property, as well as serious bodily harm to other workers.

In light of this risk, we recommend that you follow these tips to boost your situational awareness and help prevent forklift accidents:

  • Pay attention to and follow any and all work site rules, policies and guidelines
  • Only operate a forklift along designated roadways
  • Observe all signs and warnings, particularly those indicating loading sites and clearance restrictions
  • Know the combined height of the load, mast and overhead guard of the forklift whenever entering or exiting a doorway or building
  • Maintain a safe distance from the edges of all loading docks or ramps
  • Avoid bumps, uneven surfaces and slippery conditions
  • Avoid loose objects on the ground, as these could cause you to lose control of the equipment or shift your load
  • Always use your horn when approaching a corner, doorway or entrance
  • Alert other operators and pedestrians of your whereabouts to avoid collisions

Just by following these basic tips, you can have a positive impact on the safety of your workplace.  Stay safe and remain vigilant!


Justin Engel

Justin Engel is the marketing specialist at Stärke Material Handling Group. In addition to content development, he also handles graphic and website design, SEO, PR and strategic planning.

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