Forklift Safety Rules And Equipment
Driving a forklift can be a very rewarding career, but there are a few hazards that come with the job. One of the biggest worries is colliding with a pedestrian, column, or rack and damaging something, whether it is a person, goods, or a machine. Luckily, there are some general safety rules and equipment you can use to stay safe and prevent this from happening.
It Starts With Personal Gear
Personal safety gear is a must when operating a forklift. The required safety gear is fairly standard. It consists of:
- Safety shoes
- Highly visible jacket
- Hard hat
- Safety goggles
- Form fitting clothes
Most of the gear is self-explanatory. The goggles, hat, and shoes protect the body from potentially harmful collisions. The jacket is to ensure that the driver of the forklift is always visible. Form fitting clothes prevent excess fabric from getting snagged on any of the machinery.
There may be additional personal safety gear depending on the nature of the job. For example, when working around hazardous chemicals a specialized safety suit may be necessary.
Protecting Against Collisions
While some of the safety gear does protect the body in the case of a collision, it is still best to avoid collisions at all costs. This ensures the driver's safety, pedestrian's safety, and the integrity of the material being transported. A collision sentry detector is a useful tool for protecting against collisions. (http://www.firstaidandsafetyonline.com/sentry-column-protection/collision-sentry.htm)
A collision sentry detector helps eliminate collisions that occur on blind corners. A specialized sensor detects potential collisions on both sides of a corner. The collision sentry then alarms the driver as well as the pedestrian if an object or person triggers the sensor.
These sensors come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Most of them still work in a relatively similar fashion. They are a great piece of safety equipment that can help avoid a seriously unfortunate accident.
Protecting The Work Site
The work site should be protected as well. This prevents damaging of goods or spilling of hazardous materials. A column sentry protector is a large plastic encasing that wraps around columns to protect them and the forklift driver in the case of a collision.
The benefit of the column sentry is two-fold. First, its bright, yellow color helps prevent many collisions by warning the forklift driver of a column they may not have seen. Second, it is designed to flex and absorb the impact of the collision. This protects the column, the forklift driver, and the machine.
A rack sentry protector is a similar device that is used to protect pallet racks. It is designed in the same way with the same materials and in the same safety colors. The sentry flexes on collision to absorb the impact.
Rack sentry protectors come in a variety of sizes to fit different racks in almost any work site. They attach to most upright racks as well as some low beams and end racks. Both the column sentry and rack sentry protectors are thoroughly tested and some can handle impacts of up to 3 mph carrying 5,000 pounds.
Driving safely is about more than just the equipment you use. Always remember to consider your surroundings, observe signs, drive at safe speeds and watch for pedestrians. Column and rack protectors may be able to absorb the impact, but ideally, you want to avoid hitting them.
Ross Germano is a self-defense and security enthusiast. You can check out his site, RevereSecurity.com for great information about self-defense and security, as well as the best in security products.