4 Forklift Dangers and How to Prevent Them

A forklift carrying an order of plastic wrapped cardboard boxes in a warehouse.

It’s no accident that forklift operators are given extensive training in OHS. Forklift work can be dangerous, both for operators and other people onsite. Preventing these dangers can represent a better workplace, as well as millions of dollars’ worth of savings. This is where identify dangers comes in.

Common Forklift Dangers and Prevention

The most dangerous risks in forklift operation aren’t always obvious. Many risks are mechanical or vehicle systems based. You find out about these problems when they happen, unless you take some good basic prevention measures.

These are a collection of samples of the classic major dangers and fixes:

          1. Mast and Lift Problems

The mast is the lifting fork and frame. Lifting issues, like loads getting stuck, may be caused by previous overloads, or a badly balanced load which stresses the mast. The load can spill, dropping valuable goods and potentially putting people on the ground at risk.

               Prevention measures include:

  • Take the vehicle out of service. A suspect forklift should NOT be used until you’re sure it’s safe.
  • Don’t assume the problem will somehow fix itself, either; call your forklift repair and maintenance team and make sure you’ve fixed this problem.

           2. Steering and Onsite Vehicle Navigation Issues

These problems can include anything from brakes and steering transmission issues to worn tyres and battered suspensions. The absolute bottom line here is that your forklift must be able to navigate hazards, and not be at risk of losing its load as a result of these issues.

               Prevention options are simple:

  • Do NOT operate any vehicle where its ability to navigate is compromised.
  • This kind of problem needs expert servicing to check for damage and see what other systems have been affected. Call your forklift repairs service

            3. Hazardous Goods Issues

Hazmat handling problems can be large, expensive risks. The bottom line here is that operators may incur serious OHS risks and penalties, and major statutory compliance issues if vehicles are unsafe. 

                Prevention must-do measures include:

  • Regular servicing of vehicles on a strict forklift maintenance schedule.
  • Reliable forklift servicing and technical support services should available at all times.
  • Compliance checking – Just make sure your vehicle complies with all Hazmat regulations.

            4. In-House Prevention Tips

  The good news for businesses is that you can do good, effective prevention in-house:

  • Operator training is crucial. Ensure that all operators are fully up to date with OHS requirements and safety risk management practices.
  • Setting up a good onsite reporting system, (preferably with senior management oversight) is best OHS practice. Just seeing some oil leaking from a forklift and reporting it can save you a fortune.

Managing Prevention

You can also get expert help and advice when you need it from your forklift service provider. At Aussie Forklift Repairs, we always make sure our clients are properly informed about possible risks and prevention options. 

If you’re in Sydney, and you’d like some guidance with practical forklift OHS and repairs, visit our website and talk to one of our experts.  Call us on (02) 9679 8992 or use our online contact form.