Forklifts and conveyors are two very different types of equipment. However, they share a commonality—they’re both heavy machines that play crucial roles in multiple industries. Unfortunately, avoidable mistakes can make these machines hazardous instead of beneficial to the workplace. Below, we’ll break down three mistakes to avoid when using heavy machinery. This way, you can keep yourself and everyone else in the workspace safe.
Ignoring Routine Maintenance
When you’re working with heavy machinery, embrace any maintenance you must conduct. In some cases, an outside team will come in for maintenance, but not always. For example, forklift operators are responsible for their daily inspections, making notes of any issues that require solutions. A leak might look harmless, but it can create a slipping hazard to anyone nearby.
Likewise, if it looks like your forklift needs new forks, don’t wait until the end of your shift to alert a supervisor. Routine maintenance can be time consuming but keeps avoidable mistakes from injuring or killing nearby personnel. In addition, you learn a lot about equipment through upkeep procedures like daily inspections. This knowledge expansion is always beneficial. Understanding and taking care of your equipment is crucial to success in any workplace, whether it’s a construction site or warehouse.
Removing Machine Safeguards
One of the biggest mistakes to avoid when using heavy machinery is messing around with protective guards in any way. There are various types of machine safeguards, each of which is vital to employee safety. These protect employees from moving machine parts.
Moving parts on heavy machinery can quickly crush, cut, and inflict many other types of injuries on nearby employees. Thankfully, using the right machine guard keeps employees safe from the moving parts or any debris that the equipment may emit. So, to put it simply, if your equipment has a protective guard in place, you should keep it there.
Storing Equipment Improperly
Any workplace in which heavy machinery is present should have designated storage areas. However, the need for storage varies depending on the machine. For example, a pneumatic conveyor and all its components aren’t things you typically have to pack up at the end of the day; they’re stationary. On the other hand, mobile pieces of equipment, such as forklifts, should go back to their designated storage space at the end of the shift.
If an employee leaves a forklift around the workplace randomly, the vehicle can sustain damage or cause an injury. Understandably, the idea of a forklift causing injuries when it’s not in operation might sound odd. However, if the vehicle is sitting in the middle of an aisle, other forklift operators have to maneuver around it carefully, which increases the chances of avoidable accidents.