A massive machine like a forklift needs serious attention. And the reason being is there are over 80 fatalities and 34,000 injuries attributed to malfunction and careless use of this equipment – which is why it is an imperative that forklifts have to be regularly maintained and serviced to ensure reliability when carrying out arduous tasks on the site.
So we invite you to read further as we’ll tackle proper forklift maintenance tips to ensure worker safety in today’s post
Why Forklifts Have To Be Maintained?
There are 2 main reasons why regular servicing and maintenance should be carried out on your forklifts:
- Well-maintained forklifts are able to run smoothly and less likely to cause accidents.
- A forklift downtime can lead to delays and costly repairs, which can impact the project as a whole in a negative way.
Common Forklift Maintenance Hazards
Before you proceed to servicing, it is also important that you’d be aware of the potential hazards involved while performing maintenance on your forklift machine, so you’ll be able to make the necessary precautions. And these are the following:
Handling Hazardous Materials – Oil, anti-freeze, lead acid batteries, and charging equipment are all parts of a forklift. And these parts are also considered as potential health and safety hazards to everybody. So make sure you’re wearing appropriate protective gear before handling these materials.
Fire – Forklifts are no strangers to heat, even if they’re functioning properly. And if the heat from the machine will come into contact with flammable liquids, it can result in fire.
Accidental Forklift Movement – A forklift that has not been properly blocked can unexpectedly move during servicing. And if you’re not paying enough attention, then you might get hit by the moving parts.
Poor Manual Handling – A forklift is a heavy machine. And so it goes without saying that its individual parts are also heavy. So if these parts are poorly handled, it can result to injuries.
Tips To Ensure Proper Maintenance Of Forklift Machines
Given the risk involved, it’s highly recommended that extra precautions should be taken when servicing a lift truck. Here are the things you need to do to ensure safety during forklift servicing:
- Leave it to the professionals. In short, only qualified and trained servicemen should maintain and inspect forklifts.
- Lock the control device and always make sure to secure the lift truck to prevent unexpected movements. Also, maintenance workers must also take control of the machine’s ignition key while the servicing is ongoing.
- Don’t disregard any spilled fluids. It should be cleaned immediately to prevent falls, slips, and trips that might lead to accidental death. Whether it’s engine oil or fuel, it’s important to perform clean up right away.
- Always wear personal protective equipment (PPE) as servicing will expose workers to various hazards like asbestos (sometimes found in the brake and clutch) exhaust fumes, and chemical spills. The wearing of PPE protects the servicemen from cuts, abrasions, and falling objects.
- Lastly, refrain from welding, smoking, or lighting matches near the forklift during servicing. Aside from that, only work underneath if the machine is well supported by blocks. And always keep records of the maintenance procedures as this will be helpful during the next scheduled servicing.
If you need some help in maintaining your forklifts, you can contact Watts Equipment in Manteca, CA today.