After checking your forklift and your load (see previous post), you really need to check your environment. This means being aware of hazards around you – people, other equipment, congested areas, loading docks, concrete posts, uneven ground – these are just some of the issues that forklift operators face every day and that can pose a serious danger to safe operation. The bottom line is look, look and look again every single time you move.
Step 4 is check your clearances – is there an obstacle above the rack you are about to pick from, is there a load on the rack behind that might impact your load, where are the sprinklers, heaters, fans and other overhead obstructions? Is there room to back up safely, is there room to turn safely, is the doorway wide enough for your load, will your load fit in the rack space you have selected? Again, the key is to look and look again every single time – before you make any movement.
Remember the four pillars to forklift safety: check your machine, check your load, check your environment and check your clearances.
Sounds easy but it is definitely not – it takes a lot of skill, super awareness and excellent judgement to be a safe forklift operator.