When parking or leaving the forklift what should operator do? This is the common question that may be asked or come up during a written test when you’re taking a forklift training and you should be aware of the potential hazards associated with it so that you can answer this question.
First off, let’s determine the definition of “unattended forklift.” An unattended forklift parked in the undesignated area create a dangerous situation to pedestrian and to other trucks as well working in the same area. According to OSHA a forklift is considered unattended when its operator is 25 feet or more away from it and it remains in operator’s view or when he leaves the truck and it is now in his view.
Here Are The Essential Practices That You Should Do When Parking Or Leaving The Forklift
Park or leave your forklift in a safe area away from traffic
The company premise should have a designated place where operators can park their forklifts. This place should not block any pathway where most pedestrian walk though and it should not obstruct any exit or entrance of the workplace.
Never leave the forklift in walkways, in front of fireboxes, in front of emergency areas and eyewash stations. You will never know when accident will happen and these facilities should be clear from any obstruction.
Lower the forks until they are flat on the floor
Lower the forks to the floor when parking the forklift. Make sure that the forks touch the ground when you are leaving. Apply the park brake when it is idle position.
Set the parking brake and set the directional control to neutral
All operational controls of the truck must be in the neutral position before the driver alight the forklift compartment. The emergency brake of the vehicle should be engaged so that it would be firm resting on its position.
Turn off the engine and the key should be removed
Whether you will be away for several minutes or if you are going for lunch or in case you will be away for an hour so, turning off the engine is good practice when the truck is idle for a period of time.
Aside from turning off the engine, and you know you will be away for longer period, removing the key from the ignition and handing it over to your shift supervisor in case someone wants it to be used during in that period is good practice as well.
Just a Reminder
Forklifts are vital part of any business dealing with heavy transporting of materials. When it is handled improperly, it could cause dangerous situation that could hamper the business operation.
Make sure that the employees assigned to operate these machineries are adequately qualified and trained to handle the truck. Forklift operation is not for the inexperienced and untrained persons. It is not being driven just like your sedan car. If you know how to drive a car, does not mean you can drive a forklift.
It could be slow compare to your car, but because of its sheer weight, it creates danger to anyone – to the operator and to the pedestrian around in the workplace.
You can only be qualified to operate a fork truck if you’ve undertaken the necessary forklift training and go through the certification performed by a qualified instructor. You can take the training either through company-sponsored training or by enrolling for a class offered by training school.
To Make a Conclusion
Forklifts play very important function to make the work much easier in the warehouse and in places where they are utilized. They make the transfer of good and materials very quickly. But despite of their good reputation, they create a potential hazard when the operator parks or leaves in it undesignated location.
Forklifts can cause damage to property, injury and even death if it is operated by an untrained individual. One circumstance of it is when parking or leaving the forklift, the operator should do the following as mentioned above.
Parking the forklift and leaving it for a period of time in undesignated area create danger and risk. Always follow the practices above.