Staying safe around electric forklifts in the workplace
Electric forklifts are important for day to day operations in warehouses across the world. Without them, goods wouldn’t be able to reach our local store shelves and in turn, our home or businesses. Forklifts are large pieces of machinery and steps must be taken to ensure a safe environment for the operator and those in the area. Besides the weight of the forklift, the forklift batteries are also a large part of the machine.
Forklifts are extremely heavy with the average forklift weighing in at over 2 tons. It’s because of their weight that they’re able to lift items on pallets and transport them onto trucks or throughout a warehouse. Caution needs to be exercised when traveling throughout the warehouse to avoid collisions. An electric horn that produces an audible beeping noise as the forklift travels is common, even when the forklift is traveling forwards over in reverse. When picking up and carrying items on pallets, ensure that the forks are completely into the pallet. Forks that don’t go in far enough can result in dropping heavy materials. Only those with a license to operate a forklift should do so, as extensive safety training is provided during the licensing course.
The batteries within forklift require maintenance and special care. Without this important part, a forklift wouldn’t be able to operate. Most forklifts use indoors are models that run off of electric batteries. When properly placed within the machine and maintained, they pose little to no threat. Neglect or improper care can lead to injuries and damage the forklift itself. Batteries contain a mix of acid, water and other corrosive chemicals that provide energy. When put in contact with human skin, severe burns can occur. The common acids used in forklift batteries will also damage clothing. If the acid gets in contact with eyes, it could result in blindness.
As mentioned earlier, maintaining and taking care of forklift batteries requires special care and precautions as well. While watering forklift batteries, there’s a potential for exposure to the acid. A well trained forklift technician will take care to not overwater or even underwater the battery. At the end of each shift or every other shift, the electric battery will need to be recharged. When charging a battery, a mix of gasses are released. Set up the battery charging system in an area that is well ventilated. If you or a coworker start to feel dizzy or lightheaded the area may not have proper ventilation to be safe for charging.
Electric forklift batteries are the premier choice for indoor forklift use. They come in a wide variety of sizes to fit all types of forklifts and are designed to work in different conditions and environments. Safety is paramount to anything else in the workplace and safety around this heavy piece of machinery is no different. Bear in mind the tips above for a safe forklift experience during the workday.