Operating Forklifts: Costly Beginner Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Some jobs have little room for mistakes. You need to get everything right from the time you start and maintain the same level of excellence throughout the operation. Operating machinery like conveyor belts, forklifts and metal grinders is an example. A slip in your levels of concentration could be the difference between an excellent job and rushing to the hospital in critical condition. The lack of experience can be a significant factor for someone who is just starting forklift training. It helps to have a few tricks up your sleeves to pit you put you ahead of the other beginners. Here are some lessons on mistakes made by beginners operating forklifts:

Ignoring Seatbelts

Seatbelts are essential for keeping you safe when things take an unexpected turn when operating a forklift. Failing to wear them exposes you to serious injuries or worse, death. Certainly, seatbelts cannot prevent accidents from happening, but they keep you from tossing around in case the forklift topples over or flips to one side. Always make sure that you fasten the seatbelt and any other restraint devices meant to secure you in your driving position regardless of the distance you are travelling.

You Don't Check the Ground Conditions

Surface conditions play a huge role to play when it comes to forklift safety. When you start using the equipment, don't ignore the danger posed by minor obstructions such as debris and loose pieces of paper lying freely on the floor. They can make the forklift lose traction easily, causing it to skid or topple. Additionally, make sure that the surface is free of grease oil and holes. If you are working outdoors, be wary of ice, snow, gravel and mud. All these elements affect traction and braking efficiency on the forklift.

Failing to Secure Your Loads

When the distance is short, and the load seemingly easy to handle, many learners would be tempted to move it without securing it well. Don't do that! Make sure that you secure the load firmly to the equipment before you start moving. Flat loads such as pallets have an even surface, which makes them easy to secure. Unsymmetrical and odd-shaped loads, however, are quite a challenge, so you need to identify anchoring points for such loads, and make sure that you move slowly.

Lack of Communication

Whenever there are people around you, make sure that they know every move you want to make with the forklift. The use of radio devices will come in handy here.  Additionally, slow down at intersections in the workspace to prevent accidents with unsuspecting pedestrians.