Working Around Complex OSHA Forklift Guidelines

posted on: Tuesday April 12, 2016

XtremelargeWhen you own a forklift, you have a hefty set of OSHA guidelines to keep track of. This goes for both battery and fuel-powered lift trucks. We wrote a series on the OSHA regulations and guidelines for electric forklifts, which primarily focused on one aspect of danger the forklifts pose: the batteries. All forklifts are risky to use and operate, however, especially in certain circumstances. Therefore, it is not only necessary for OSHA to implement complex requirements, but it is also vital to follow these rules.

The question is: how do you simplify your responsibilities when owning and/or operating a forklift?

OSHA requirements are rigorous because the equipment is so dangerous to use. Forklifts are built like a tank. They’re big and heavy, and they pull heavy objects up off the floor. This poses a number of hazards.

Maneuvering the lift truck, even without a load of pallets, can result in damage to structures around it. There are numerous videos that capture forklift drivers running into shelves or walls and destroying an entire warehouse.

When you add a load onto the forklift, further damage is possible. It is even more difficult to safely move through a workspace, so in addition to structural integrity, the product itself can be compromised. Also, with pallets so high up off the floor, even if a small piece of one falls on a person, it can be extremely harmful to that worker.

Personnel safety is of great concern in any case. Visibility is limited in a forklift, so pedestrians can easily be in the way of harm. Drivers are also at risk should the forklift tip or run into something.

So in order to simplify the responsibilities of owning a forklift, you really need to find an alternate, safer way to accomplish the work wherever possible. This will not only reduce the requirements you need to follow, but also improve the safety and productivity of the work itself.

The most practical solution for objects that do not need to be lifted is the tug and cart system. This keeps everything on the ground, so visibility is optimal. With better visibility, operators can easily see and maneuver around his or her surroundings, including shelves, equipment, and other people.

These battery powered tugs have a lot of power, so they are capable of moving loads equivalent to or greater than what you are moving with a forklift. The operator needs no special training, so you can utilize a wider variety of employees to accomplish the work.

The bottom line is that these ergonomic units were designed to increase both safety and productivity, and you do not need to follow rigorous OSHA guidelines to keep them in your facility. Talk to an expert about how they can minimize your forklift dependency. Load Mover Inc: 952-767-1720info@loadmoverinc.com.