Toyota Material Handling Europe (TMHE) actively promotes risk prevention in the workplace and offers some safety tips for drivers to reduce the risk of accidents.
Online PR News – 08-August-2012 – Mjölby, Sweden – Awareness of workplace safety is a key concern across Europe, and many of the serious accidents which occur every year are preventable. For forklift drivers, lifting heavy goods presents a particular risk of injury that they have to face in their daily activities.
Toyota Material Handling Europe (TMHE) is dedicated to ensuring improvements in the safety of drivers and that of their colleagues. This goes from safety innovations during the design process to regular after-sales maintenance and care. TMHE’s preventative measures for forklift drivers are crucial for avoiding hazards in the use and operation of their trucks.
Forklift drivers should always keep in mind that safety is paramount, and they should never attempt to operate any truck that they are not licensed to. The best way to avoid any injury is to prevent risk to the fullest extent possible, and so every forklift operator should begin their day with a check of the truck to ensure that all the equipment is fully functional. The brakes and steering mechanism, as well as the horn, lights, and tyres should all be included in this safety check, and if any faults are found they should be reported immediately.
When leaving forklifts unattended for any length of time, brakes should be set and the controls should be neutralised. Before leaving the forklift, drivers must lower the forks and remove the key. Parking on any ramp or slope should be avoided unless absolutely necessary, but if it can’t be avoided, the breaks should once again be set and the wheels must be chocked.
During normal operation, it is important for drivers to keep their arms and legs inside the driver’s cabin at all times. When handling and lifting goods, unstable loads can be very hazardous. The safe working load weights should never be exceeded and loads should always be positioned at the heel of the forks to aid stability. The forks should never be used to transport people or raise them to a height.
Overturning is another of the dangers which drivers have to face when operating a forklift, and they should be aware that this is more likely to occur on bends and inclines. The Toyota System of Active Stability (SAS) helps to prevent this, but drivers should bear in mind that it is still a risk, especially in non-Toyota models. Controlling the speed of the truck is the best way to reduce the risk that the situation presents, so drivers should slow down at sharp curves and ramps, as well as on wet or slippery surfaces.
When driving, operators should take extra care and also curtail their speed when approaching aisle crossings or bends. Pedestrians tend to be particularly difficult to see when approaching these areas. Visibility is very important for forklift operators, and as such it is vital to always look in the direction of travel, especially when reversing. Areas of congestion and poor visibility can often be the cause of increased danger to the driver and those around them.
TMHE is proud to offer this guide to forklift operation as part of their commitment to safety in the workplace.