st-austell-brewery-036There’s nothing like a long, hot summer day to make outdoor work a very attractive option for fork lift truck operators. But don’t let the sunshine and fresh air go straight to your head. Whatever the weather, the yard is still an extremely dangerous place to work without a thorough understanding of safety basics.

To help you keep your operations cool (and safe) as the temperature rises, we’ve compiled our own summer survival kit and packed it full of the top 10 essential safety tips every user should know before tackling outdoor work…

1. Know your limits.

Warehouse equipment isn’t designed to be used outdoors. So before you take your truck outside, check that it is suitable for yard use.

2. Keep it clean.

A messy yard is a dangerous one. Simple items like loose planks of wood can tip a lift truck over – crushing or maiming the driver.

3. Be a smooth operator.

Regularly perform surface inspections to ensure the yard surface itself is well maintained. Potholes are a common cause of tipping accidents.

4. Breath easy.

If you’re using a diesel or gas powered truck in a confined space like a container, don’t let dangerous fumes build up.

5. Take it slow.

Crossing open spaces makes it tempting to overdo the throttle – don’t do it, and don’t let your colleagues do it either if you value your safety.

palletforce-use-caption-calor-will-discuss-safety-issues-relating-to-the-use-of-lpg6. Mark out your territory.

Try to keep fork lift trucks, lorries and pedestrians separated with traffic circuits and warning signs.

7. Watch your weight!

Before you take a fork lift truck onto the back of a lorry, check it’s secure and stable – will it take the combined weight of your truck and load?

8. Climb any mountain?

Gradients of any kind can be dangerous to lift trucks – avoid them. If you can’t, go straight up or down, not sideways. For more information, there’s a free Fact Sheet at the FLTA website (www.fork-truck.org.uk).

9. Great vision.

It’s important you can see clearly where you’re going – so if you can’t see forwards, travel in reverse or get a team-mate to act as banksman.

10. Choose your ‘entrance’ wisely.

logo-safety-conference-sept09Flashing lights and warning bleepers can be a good way of making your presence known – but bear in mind that in some environments they can be a distraction.

To find out more about fork lift truck safety, visit the Fork Lift Truck Association website, www.fork-truck.org.uk, email mail@fork-truck.org.uk or phone 01256 381441.

Safety matters… Pass it on!

Supporting and promoting safety in the workplace is a key aim of the FLTA – and the National Fork Lift Truck Safety Conference 2009. An information-packed day is planned for the event which will take place at Warwick University Arts Centre on Wednesday 30th September 2009.

Now in its seventh year, the Safety Conference addresses the issues and problems which directly impact upon users of fork lift trucks. An expert line-up of speakers will offer attendees the practical guidance they want and – more importantly – need.

This year’s theme, Understanding and Communicating the Risks, covers a full programme of presentations that will show what the fork lift industry is doing – and what individuals can do – to highlight potential safety threats in the workplace.

To book tickets or to find out more about the event, visit the FLTA website – www.fork-truck.org.uk.