Winter is here and as per data from OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), 11% of the total Forklift trucks are involved in accidents every year. Half of these accidents can be avoided if the operators have proper training and the Forklifts go through proper maintenance.
At Linde Forklift in India we amalgamated our experience and vast knowledge in Forklift Trucks and have prepared a list of measures to adopt to ensure both the Forklift and the Operator are safe during the winters to ensure unobstructed productivity with zero risk.
Awareness and Training:
The first step to staying safe under any conditions is to know them well. Forklift Operators need to know the environment and weather conditions they’d be working under. The conditions include-
• Limited Visibility (Due to Fog and Snow)
• Snow, Ice and Extremely Cold Weather
• Slippery and Wet Roads
Your job as an employer is to ensure that the forklift operators are well trained to adapt to these conditions and modify their working process accordingly. For instance the operators need to maintain alertness at all times so they are aware of any potential hazards and road conditions around them. A part of the operators’ training can be the speed reduction bit. Operators are eager to make up for lost time due to snowfall or get back inside and as a result they end up speeding up the task at hand. This might result in accidents cause no matter how high end your equipment, nature and outside conditions are unpredictable and along with the presence of pedestrians, there are high chances of accidents. Hence, the operators need to work slowly with caution.
Protection of Operators:
No one can concentrate on work at hand if they are freezing in cold and subject to health hazards. To ensure the forklift operators are comfortable in carrying out business as usual and maintain concentration levels, adequate warm clothing needs to be provided along with reflective and highly visible overalls. In addition, they should be provided with jackets and pants that are water and wind proof with polar fleece jumpers.The operators should also be encouraged to take regular breaks and retire to warmer places that can relax their muscles and energize them for work.
Maintenance and Enhancement of Forklifts:
To avoid any mishaps and facilitate smooth workflow, you need to ensure that your Forklifts are prepared for winters with the latest equipment and checked for any and all kinds of mechanical risks. Below are a few thumb rules to use:
• Tyre Inspection for right pressure, quality and life.
• Thorough check of all the electrical systems, hydraulics, engines and batteries.
• Ensure Cabs and Heaters are present in all your Forklifts.
• Conduct regular maintenance checks to ensure fluid and fuel levels, lighting, floodlighting, starters, de-icer levels and all other parts are in order.
• Ensure the Forklift is equipped with Winter Attachments like a plow or scoop attachment for removing snow and ice from the ground and salt spreader or sander to melt the ice, grit the parking, working and loading areas.
• Ensure the Forklift is duly covered protecting it from the rains and wind in stormy weather.
• The Forklift should be sufficiently warmed up before operation so that the engine and hydraulics can be used to their full potential.
• Post operation; ensure a thorough cleaning is carried out on the Forklift to ensure its safe use in the future.
• Storage of the forklift should be in a dry area and a battery warmer can be used or the battery can be kept plugged in to ensure the battery doesn’t end up flat.
• The diesel used should be in accordance with the temperatures along with high quality hydraulic fluids. You can also opt for additives that prevent the gelling or freezing of fuel.
To conclude, as long as you ensure that the forklifts are thoroughly checked on regular intervals, enhanced with the latest technology and the operators are given adequate training and are given the right training and right clothing, the above tips shall take care of the rest. For all your Forklift needs, you can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 18008435111.