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10 Safety Tips for IC Forklifts

Material Handling Best Practices, Tips, Information and More from Toyota

GIC Forkliftsood operator practices including a thorough pre-operation inspection in accordance to the OSHA standard for powered industrial trucks [29 CFR 1910.178] are not only valuable for creating a safe operating workplace, but also makes sure you get the most value out of your capital investment.

  1. Inspect Propane Tank. Make sure the tank is installed properly with the release valve on top! Inspect the tank for corrosion and damage, inspect LPG hoses for kinks or cuts, and check the coupling to ensure a tight seal with no leaks.

  2. Inspect Tires & Wheels. For cushion tire models, look for excessive tire wear, chunking and wheel damage, which may affect truck and load stability. Check air filled pneumatic tires for objects that may result in a flat, and inspect for loose or missing wheel mounting hardware.

  3. Overhead Guard Check. Always pay close attention to the condition of the overhead guard and never operate a forklift with a damaged overhead guard.

  4. Inspect Lifting System and Hydraulics. Inspect the heels of the forks for excessive wear, and ensure the forks are fully engaged on the carriage. Check for damage to hoses and hydraulic fittings.

  5. Capacity Nameplate. Forklifts with missing or illegible capacity nameplates should never be used to handle loads. Also the capacity nameplate should be stamped to reflect any attachments mounted to the forklift.

  6. Check for Noises. If you hear any unusual noises with the engine running, it is likely a sure sign that something is wrong, and should be reported to the maintenance department for immediate investigation.

  7. Check Audible and Visual Indicators. Check to see if all indicator and visual lights equipped on the truck are working properly. For trucks outfitted with audible alarms, check for proper functioning and noise level.

  8. Check Hydraulic Controls. While engine is running with the park brake on, slowly operate the hydraulic functions for smooth and proper operation. Any unusual noises, mechanical sticking, or choppy movement is a clear indicator that the truck needs to be inspected by a service technician before entering into service.

  9. Check Parking and Service Brake Functions. While the forklift is in park, carefully place forklift in forward and reverse to ensure proper operation of park brake. Disengage the park brake and confirm service brake is functioning well in both the forward and reverse directions.

  10. Check Steering Controls. Check operation of steering for smoothness and responsiveness. Unusual noises, jerkiness or excessive effort are indicators that something is not right, and needs to be inspected by a service technician before entering into service.


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