Essential Tips for First-Time Forklift Operators

Essential Tips for First-Time Forklift Operators

With great power comes great responsibility. This principle isn’t simply something for superheroes to follow—it’s a mantra we should echo in our minds each and every day. If you’re at the helm of a forklift, you have an immense amount of power in your hands. With the right techniques, you can use that power to safely and efficiently complete tasks in the workplace.

However, in the wrong hands, that power can only promote injuries and other preventable accidents. These essential tips for first-time forklift operators will help you use that power to its full potential.

Don’t Ignore Your Pre-Shift Inspection

Conducting a thorough inspection of the forklift before operating it will help you remain in-line with OSHA standards. Aside from violating OSHA standards, skipping the pre-shift inspection can lead to injuries or product damage. These results can stem from accidents like leaks, broken or weak components, and other factors you should be looking for during the pre-shift inspection.

Make sure to research and understand the anatomy of a forklift even after passing the initial training course. Getting comfortable in your new job is always a good thing but getting too comfortable can lead to forgetting or neglecting important components of the forklift during your inspection.

If You Need Help, Always Ask

Don’t be afraid to reach out to your superiors or fellow employees if you need any help with tasks like operating, loading, or inspecting your forklift. Many new employees across various industries fear asking questions because they don’t want to seem like a novice, even if they are.

Ultimately, asking these questions is going to benefit your growth as a forklift operator, which will in turn make the workplace safer and more productive. This isn’t just one of the most essential tips for first-time forklift operators—it’s a principle you should bring with you into every job you have.

Pay Attention To Your Load Height

Keeping loads at a comfortable height is an important step to prevent forklift tip-overs. Even if you’re the load is at a height where it won’t cause a tip-over, you still have to consistently monitor the surroundings above you.

It’s vital to monitor all your surroundings but the area above you is especially important because it will prevent you from crashing into the tops of doorways, nearby signs, and a variety of other objects you’ll have to drive the forklift underneath. If you smack a forklift into the top of a doorway, not only can you damage the forklift and the load, but you can also potentially hurt yourself and anyone else around you.

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