What Do You Know About Forklift Safety?

Have your employees take this quiz—it could save a life.

1. It is very easy to tip over on ramps and sloped surfaces whether the forklift is loaded or unloaded:
? a.) True.
? b.) False.

2. When driving on ramps with a grade of 10 percent or more with a loaded forklift, you must always keep the load uphill, even if it means driving in reverse down the ramp:
? a.) True.
? b.) False.

3. Because a forklift weighs more, it is much easier to brake to a complete stop than an automobile:
? a.) True.
? b.) False.

4. A forklift driver must always look:
? a.) In the mirrors.
? b.) Around his/her load.
? c.) In the direction of travel.
? d.) Forward.

5. What should you do when you approach an intersection:
? a.) Slow down and sound the horn.
? b.) Check for hazards by leaning out of the cab.
? c.) Turn slowly and smoothly.
? d.) Drive through it as quickly as possible.

6.To lift people using a forklift, the operator must:
? a.) Lift people with bare forks.
? b.) Use a pallet to provide a platform on which to stand.
? c.) Move the truck near a wall for fall protection.
? d.) None of the above.

7. When forward visibility is ob-­structed or blocked, you should:
? a.) Look around the load.
? b.) Proceed forward slowly and with due caution.
? c.) Drive in reverse.
? d.) None of the above.

8. Never enter a trailer or railroad car unless:
? a.) The watchman is present.
? b.) The forklift’s fuel tank and battery are fully charged.
? c.) The trailer or railcar is locked in place with wheel chocks.
? d.) There is a spotter inside the trailer or railroad car.

9. A forklift operator’s first concern should be:
? a.) Increasing the speed of loading and unloading.
? b.) Making sure the vehicle is in safe working condition.
? c.) Checking shift changes for the load/unload schedule.
? d.) Stabilizing the forks on all trucks used in a shift.

10. Which of the following is a warning sign that the forklift may need to be taken out of service and repaired?
? a.) Leaks in the fuel system.
? b.) A brake pedal that feels spongy.
? c.) Exhaust fumes that make you feel sick.
? d.) All of the above.

How many wrong answers are permissible? In a safe warehouse or similar facility: zero. Whenever forklift drivers perform their duties incorrectly, such incidents open the door to accidents, injuries or even death, which in turn can lead to workers’ compensation claims against the company, lost productivity, raised insurance premiums, lowered employee morale and penalties from OSHA.

When every forklift operator at your company has passed a training and certification program in accordance with all applicable OSHA regulations, you’ve taken a major step toward fostering a safer workplace, says Mangan.

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