3 Forklift Operational Safety Rules To Implement In Your Retail Storage Area

Posted on: 3 January 2017

As the owner of a small retail business, there is a pretty good chance that in the beginning, handling incoming shipped merchandise by hand was the most logical option. However, as your business grows larger and those shipments do as well, you are bound to start looking for a resolution where material handling is concerned, and that resolution could very well come in the form of a forklift. Adding a forklift to your daily operations will make things easier for sure, but having this piece of equipment in your business also means a few new safety concerns. Here are a few forklift operational safety rules to implement in your retail storage area. 

Make sure only trained personnel are allowed on the forklift.

The forklift is one of the more basic forms of heavy construction equipment and it is easy to assume that anyone in the store can operate it if need be. However, it is always best to only allow those with proper training to operate the machine in your store. Having only operators with training will help reduce the likelihood that accidents and damages occur because of lack of handling and driving experience. 

Make sure operators are trained to assess the forklift at the beginning of every shift. 

Accidents can occur for operators and for those bystanders around a forklift if there is something wrong with the equipment not discovered before operation begins. For this reason, it is a good idea to ensure every operator in your store knows to assess and examine the equipment at the beginning of their shift or before they get on the forklift to perform tasks. During this examination, the operator will need to check for things like functional lights and beepers, functional brakes, and visible signs of fork damage. 

Make sure the operation zone is free of obstacles that would require sharp turns to maneuver around. 

One of the basic rules of safely operating a forklift is to never take turns and corners at a sharp angle because when carrying a heavy load, this can put the operator at risk of tipping over. To make sure your forklift operators do not face this risk, ensure the storage area of your retail store has ample space for maneuvering and operation of the forklift. Eliminate sharp corners and turns by keeping shelving units widely spaced and restrict forklift operation in areas where avoiding sharp turns would not be possible. 

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