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Forklift & Forklift Cage Safety

forklift safety

When working in a warehouse, factory or other industrial premises you are likely to come across the use of a forklift. Safety when using a forklift truck is of the utmost importance, not only to you but colleagues.

There are several things to bear in mind when operating a forklift truck:

Forklift Operators must be qualified

To operate a forklift you must undergo the necessary training and testing, once you have passed you will be given a licence to operate the forklift.

Appropriate clothing must be worn when operating forklifts

Appropriate clothing should include:

  • Hard hat
  • Safety shoes (usually steel capped)
  • Hi-vis jackets

Also make sure that the clothing is fitted but not restrictive.

Examine your forklift and any additional equipment before use

Before you use your forklift and any attachments that you may be using with it check the following for faults:

  • Brakes
  • Steering
  • Controls
  • Warning devices
  • Mast
  • Tyres
  • Attachments are fixed on securely

Avoid Hazards when driving forklift

When operating the forklift it is imperative that you stay away from uneven or loose ground surfaces as well as slippery conditions.

Make sure you keep a safe distance from other trucks in the vicinity and give plenty of room when you are manoeuvring.

When you are going round a corner it is advised to sound your horn so people know you are approaching.

Loads on forklifts should be stable and secure

Before you move double check that your load is secure and stable and not likely to come loose or topple.

Clear visibility When manoeuvring the load into racking or up a ramp make sure that you have clear visibility and your view is not obstructed so you can see completely what is going on and make quick adjustments if need be.

Driving forklifts on ramps 

You must always drive up ramps in a forward direction; you should never reverse up a ramp. You should also never unload or load good on a ramp.

When you are finished operating your forklift

When you are finished operating the forklift make sure that it is returned to its designated area, that the forks are lowered and the park brake is applied and that the forklift is switched off.

You should never leave a forklift running unattended. Forklift trucks can take a number of attachments, from drum rotators, tines, spreaders and of course forklift cages.

Forklift cages are designed to aid in access to high racking and storage areas making it safe and easy to reach goods or equipment.

Here are a few guidelines to follow when operating and using a forklift cage.

  • Check that the platform/cage is securely attached to the forks or carriage
  • The mast remains vertical
  • The platform must also remain horizontal and centred
  • The forklift truck must be on firm and level ground, no uneven surfaces or bumps
  • When the platform is raised all controls must be in neutral and the parking brake applied
  • Personnel should only be lifted and lowered at their request, this also includes any adjustments in horizontal positioning. Any overhead obstructions should be avoided
  • Only a trained operator should be in a position to control the vehicle
  • Make sure that the combined weight of the platform, personnel and equipment does not exceed one half of the capacity of the forklift truck

If the cage gas full safety it is not mandatory to wear a safety harness, however it is down to the discretion of the user to assess the situation and wear if they feel it is needed.

ESE Direct supply a range of forklift cages, if you have any questions regarding these please call our friendly and award winning customer service team on 0808 163 3704, or you can chat to them online using our LiveChat! service.

Photograph of Laura Holland

Author Bio -

Social Media and Web Content Coordinator, Jan 2014 - May 2015