Thursday, February 23, 2006

Forklift Safety Secrets

Safety when operating forklifts ...

"Improving safety by uncovering some of the mysteries surrounding forklifts.

Load charts, identification plates, load capacity plates: Whatever you call them, they are the least looked at and least understood item on a forklift. An operator will check the engine oil before consulting a load chart. If load charts were looked at, consulted or followed, I believe operators and managers would be surprised at what they find.

For example, in the industrial fork truck industry there is a little-known secret usually only exposed in detailed forklift training. The secret is that the forklift you are operating probably has a designation or name used in sales literature that is not what the forklift actually does.

Let me explain. One of the most widely used, sold and rented warehouse-style forklifts is rented as, sold as and called a "5,000-pound forklift." This 5,000-pound forklift typically is equipped with a three-stage straight mast, usually about a 15-foot lifting height with a side-shift feature. If you consult the load chart or I.D. plate for this forklift, which few operators understand, you will see that this lift may only be rated to pick up 3,700 pounds. That's right, 3,700 pounds."   continued ...   (Via Occupational Hazards)

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