Does regular maintenance enhance forklift safety?
Forklift accidents injure and even kill operators and by-standers. It’s no wonder that OSHA and forklift owners are extremely serious about forklift safety.
But did you know that equipment malfunctions cause many of forklift accidents? That means proper, timely maintenance plays a significant role in reducing the number and severity of forklift accidents.
Here are some recommended best practices you can put in place at your business to reduce maintenance-related accidents and improve forklift safety in your facility.
Maintenance best practices that improve forklift safety
1. Pre-shift check
A pilot performs a pre-flight check before every flight. Why? Because there’s no room for error when it comes to flying.
Encourage the same attitude in your forklift operators so issues are detected and fixed before they become problems out on the floor. A pre-shift check should include
- Battery charge/fuel status
- Condition of hoses
- Tire pressure and condition
- Seat belt function
- Fluid levels
- Condition of forks and mast
- Brake performance
2. Perform preventive maintenance.
Each forklift make and model has a manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedule that should be followed. Regular preventive maintenance replaces components before they can wear out and cause problems.
Regularly scheduled maintenance also allows a service professional to go over the equipment and spot potential problems before they can cause an accident.
3. Check tires for wear and damage.
Tires are critical components when it comes to forklift safety. They affect the stability and handling of the truck. Plus, they provide the only cushioning for both components and forklift operators, protecting both from shocks and bumps. Tire condition needs to be checked regularly and worn or damaged tires replaced right away.
4. Fix problems right away.
Unresolved problems have a way of growing. That’s especially true of forklift issues. For example: a tiny leak in a hose will grow and eventually cause a breakdown. It’s better to replace the leaky hose right away rather than risk a breakdown in the middle of a task.
Need convincing? Consider the cost of replacing the hose during a scheduled maintenance appointment and compare that with the lost labor and emergency repair costs of a mid-shift breakdown.
Morrison: Committed to forklift safety.
Check out these programs & services available to help you achieve your training and safety goals:
MX Maintenance Logistics: free online customized fleet metrics program to help you manage your fleet.
Total Maintenance and Repair (TM & R) lets you focus on your core business by completely taking your company out of the lift truck maintenance business.