Why Daily Forklift Safety Checks Are So Important

Why Daily Forklift Safety Checks Are So Important

When operating heavy machinery and material handling equipment it is vital that you carry out daily safety checks, no matter how confident you feel using it or how safe you ‘think’ it may be. 

Think of it like driving your car. Just because you know exactly how it drives, no matter the weather, the conditions of the road, in daylight or evenings, would you reverse without checking your mirrors or your blindspot? Would you set off on a long journey without checking how much petrol you have in the tank, or how much oil you have? No. Therefore your forklift truck should be no different. 

But what exactly should you be looking out for throughout your checks? Here at Permatt, we are one of the largest independent material handling suppliers in the UK and alongside renting and selling Forklift Trucks, we can also offer our wealth of knowledge in Maintenance, Breakdown, Examination and Training to name a few; so keep reading to check out our guide on what to monitor and look out for with your material handling equipment… 

What Safety Checks Should I Practice?

Engine-Off Checks 

Before you turn the ignition on, there are a few checks that you can carry out while your forklift truck is stationary. 

First up, check the tyres – Between the condition and pressure, ensure that they have enough tread on to man all weathers. Check that they aren’t looking deflated before you head out onto a task and that there are no tears or punctures. 

Examine the forks – Check the condition, ensuring that they are not loose, damaged or unlevel. The forks will more than likely be lifting and transporting heavy objects, so it is vital to ensure that they are secure and safe to perform efficiently and safely. 

Look out for leaks – Nobody wants a leaky engine! Oil or petrol/diesel spill can spell trouble for your employee’s health and safety – not to mention the performance of your engine. Ensure that there are no faults in the condition before switch-on. 

Engine oil / Brake fluid / Radiator coolant – Just like you would with your car, use the dipstick to check your oil level, brake fluid and radiator coolant. All factors that contribute to the running and performance of your forklift truck. The last thing you want is to run your forklift dry resulting in costly repairs!

Seat belt – A seat belt is a vital piece of safety equipment for any vehicle, therefore it is important to check that your seat belt is attached correctly, that it is untangled and it is secure in keeping you safe and in place. 

Operators manual – It is important and always helpful to keep your operators manual handy when you are operating any material handling equipment for peace of mind if anything were to go wrong, break down or cause difficulty. 

Engine-On Checks 

The noise – Turn the ignition of your forklift truck on and the first thing you should inspect is the noise that your forklift truck is making. Are there any unusual loud sounds? Anything that feels out of the ordinary – note down and flag up with a senior team member. 

Check your lights and alert sounds – With some forklift models, you may have brake lights and reverse lights/alarms. This is a standard safety procedure to ensure it is functioning as it should, to alert your colleagues that you are around. 

Steering operation – Your steering wheel should be functioning smoothly and when the engine is switched on it should be able to turn lightly. If you experience any difficulty or heavy steering, be sure to carry out further checks! 

Fork control – You should be able to control the forks with ease once the forklift truck is in motion. Check that you can move, tilt and lift with the forks to ensure that they are in place and secure. 

Sound your horn – You never know when a hazard could arise when you are operating a heavy piece of machinery. The best chance of warning any members of the public or colleagues who could be close by is by sounding your horn. This will alert them and make them aware that you are nearby. 

Forklift Maintenance

When performing these safety checks on your machinery, it is important to take action on any issues that have arisen straight away. Here at Permatt, we can keep you running with our Maintenance services. We can provide you with contracts that cover your Servicing and Breakdown needs for every type of forklift truck machinery. We offer packages of cover based on three months, six months or on an annual basis. Depending on the usage of the truck itself. Within your Contract Cover, there is also the yearly ‘Thorough Examination’ included which ensures that you have met the British Safety Law with your equipment. It takes little to no time to carry out the servicing and examining of a forklift piece of equipment. We can come and visit your workplace to inspect your premises at any time during the working day. If your forklift does happen to need extra care then we can happily provide a replacement truck for your company use until we get your original up and running once again!

Permatt Breakdown Recovery 

We provide a two-hour response to breakdown calls from customers all over the North East and Cumbria on a 24-hour basis. We know how important your forklift truck is to your business and how any problems can cause major delays to material handling movements, therefore if you experience any issues with your machine, get in touch with our team here at Permatt by calling 0191 216 5320. 

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