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Forklift Health and Safety

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When you take your forklift truck training you will be taught all the important forklift health and safety that is complosury to know if you plan on being a forklift operator.

On this page we talk about some of the important things you should know about and why forklift training health and safety is so important.

The different load rating for forklift trucks

As we talked about on the forklift licence page, there are different types of forklift trucks, depending on what type of job you have, and because each forklift truck is used for different environments, they all have a separate load ratings to indicate how much weight each truck is designed for.

Each forklift model has something called a rating plate. A rating plate is to tell us what the maximum weight that can be lifted for that truck to a given height and a given load centre.

When you take your forklift training you be taught to understand what all the ratings mean and it is vital you and other operators understand it when back in the working environment. It is one of the most important part of the forklift health and seftey training.

Remember that when using an attachment for the forklift truck, that equipment also will have a weight. To understand this better, think of it like this. The extra attachment now becomes extra weight to the original weight rating, so in return the actual load must be reduced.

Mobile phones

no mobile phones on a forklift

Whilst operating a forklift truck it is important to have full concentration at all times. For this reason it is highly recommended you do not use a mobile phone whist in control of a forklift. Saying that, there are no actual specific regulations that say not to use a mobile phone but it is a case of common sense as you are not going to be able to have 100% concentration if you are driving a forklift and also using a mobile phone.

It is illegal in the UK to drive on a public road whilst using a hand held phone or a similar device. All be it your working environment may not be as busy as a public road but it is just as dangerous and you have to remember that you are in use of a heavy duty machinery and also transporting heavy materials from one place to another, and if anything goes wrong there can be fatal consequences. A lot of employees would agree that because of how dangerous a forklift can be, it would be a good idea to ban the use of mobile and hand held mobile phones.

There are going to be situations where you will need to be able to communicate with other members of the working staff, in which it is quite common to use a two way radio. In this case make sure you only use the two way radio when you are stationary and not in the process of lifting any materials.

You should be made aware of these rules by your employee prior to working with the forklift.

Forklift truck fumes

forklift truck fumes

In a perfect world, it would be great if when you are operating a forklift it is in an open environment, but we know that is not going to be the case all the time. Sometime when operating a for lift, you will be doing so in a confined space. If so, please take care and be aware that working in confined spaces may generate dangerous levels of poisonous fumes.

It is important that you understand these risks as it can be difficult to detect what might be going on.

When a diesel forklift engine is cold, it may give out a white smoke. If you notice the forklift giving out a black or blue smoke, this may indicate that maintenance might be required on the forklift’s engine.

Even when the you can not see the smoke it will contain carcinogenic substances, which can give off some obvious health issues such as irritation on the your eyes or breathing problems.

Not all forklift trucks will run off a diesel engine, there are also LPG engines and these type of engines produce carbon dioxide and water vapour. When working in an area of poor ventilation, or if the engine has not been maintained correctly, the engine can produce carbon monoxide, which can result in unconsciousness or even death.

In most cases you will be working in a open and well ventilated environment, but like said, there may be the case when you won’t be, and these are the times when you have to be alert and switched on. These type of working locations might be one or more of the following:
Back of a lorry, in a container, or in a low ceiling building with poor ventilation.

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