How important are Environmental Factors for Safe Forklift Operation?

Safe and successful forklift operation relies upon the diligence of the operator and the reliability of the machine. Without this combination, it is quite possible for forklifts to meet an accident. Yet, there is a third factor that plays an equally important role in the successful operation of forklifts. Forklift operators who have been in the industry for a few years would be all too familiar with it. We, of course, mean the environmental factors surrounding the forklift and the operator during operation.

It is easy to neglect these factors when looking to improve the safety of a forklift. After all, they are not directly related to the forklift (or so we think). In fact, the surrounding environment has more effect on the performance and safety of a forklift than we realize. Whether it is a new forklift or a pre-owned one, these factors have equal impact on all. For those managers who purchase used forklift trucks for sale, environmental components play an even more crucial role.

If not maintained properly, a used forklift is more susceptible to damage and accident. That is perhaps the biggest drawback of purchasing pre-owned equipment. Yet, environmental factors have a bigger impact on the safety of used forklifts as well. Experienced fleet managers strive to ensure that the surroundings of a forklift do not disrupt its operation. Instead, they aim to mold the surroundings to support and enhance its function.

In this article, we shall look at some of the environmental factors that impact forklift safety the most. Moreover, we shall discuss how fleet managers can ensure these factors enhance rather than hinder forklift operations. Lastly, how operators and other employees can keep the surroundings safe for the forklift to work.

What Environmental Factors to Look Out for?

The first step to understanding how surroundings impact forklift use is to know what surroundings to look out for. In a warehouse or an operational site, there are plenty of things that can cause forklift accidents. A trained eye would be able to spot and disable any potential hindrances for equipment operation. Here’s what to keep an eye out for:

Low/ Poor Visibility Regions

The aisles in a warehouse are a dark place. Insufficient lighting system makes it hard for operators to spot objects from far away. Not having a clear and long range of sight is a danger to the forklift operation. The forklift may collide with or drive over a foreign object and cause an accident.

As such, it is essential for forklifts to have properly functioning lights that penetrate a long way. This would allow operators to avoid any collisions and accidents. In case of used forklifts for sale, an authentic retailer like Truck Forklifts provides reliable second hand equipment. This reduces the chances of used forklifts getting into accidents.

Narrow and Cluttered Spaces

You usually find this in warehouses and small to medium parts manufacturer factories. The narrow and cluttered aisles are dangerous sites for a forklift. Forklifts are not renowned for their handling, though some newer ones have better maneuverability. Yet, commonly used forklifts may meet an accident by collision in the cluttered space.

Uneven Surfaces

You will find a lot of loose surfaces in a warehouse. An abandoned wooden plank on the floor is enough to make a forklift tip over. Slopes, curves and dips are also no-go zones for forklifts. The stability of a forklift is fragile and uneven surfaces can tip over forklifts easily. As such, it is essential to ensure that there are no uneven surfaces on the site of operation.

How to Minimize Danger of Environmental Factors for Used Forklifts?

Used forklifts are particularly susceptible to accidents and perverse effect of surroundings. This is because they stay in use longer and under multiple ownerships. Not to mention, they operate in different environments which increases the impact of environmental factors. Therefore, it is essential to learn how to reduce the danger of environmental factors.

The first and most commonly used way to reduce the danger of surrounding factors is vigilance. Accidents and incidents can be avoided simply by keeping a keen eye out for potential dangers. These include spotting random objects lying around that get in the way of forklifts. It also involves removing clutter beforehand to let a forklift pass without hassle.

The second method is to light the operational area sufficiently. Since many accidents occur due to poor lighting, therefore it is essential to have proper lighting. This is especially required in narrow spaces and aisles.

These were just some of the ways you can reduce dangers of environmental factors. There are of course many other methods that can be employed. Be sure to keep your operators in the loop when it comes to implementing hazard reducing techniques on site.