the guidance outlined below will lead to a safer – and more productive – work environment.

Last month, I shared information on  in order to avoid injury, reduce costs and maximize productivity. This June, we observe National Safety Month with 10 tips for safe use of material handling equipment. Even if you aren’t directly responsible for these assets, following the guidance outlined below will lead to a safer – and more productive – work environment.

1.   Ensure the operator is trained and qualified to operate the equipment.
2.   Always do a pre-shift inspection of the equipment. Inspection items should include brakes, steering, warning devices, safety devices, mast, tires and all controls. Log damages, flag problems and notify management of any and all issues. Do not allow a damaged or unsafe piece of equipment to be operated until it is fixed or repaired.
3.   Make sure the load is secure, stable and appropriate for the piece of equipment being utilized.
4.   Always insure the operator has clear visibility when in motion. Use helpers if necessary.
5.   When carrying loads, go forward on up ramps and in reverse on down ramps.
6.   Lower the loads to travel height before moving and carry it with a slight back tilt.
7.   Always know the weight of your cargo and make certain the equipment is capable of carrying the load.
8.   Only raise and lower loads when not in motion.
9.   Travel at safe speeds for the environment. Maintain a safe distance between other pieces of moving equipment, people and stationary objects.
10.  Turn off the forklift when not in use or unattended and remove the key.

When followed, these tips will set a strong foundation for the safe use of material handling equipment in your workplace. Are there any safety tips you follow that we didn’t include? Leave a comment or send us a tweet, @ElementFleet.

Each month Fleet Management Weekly features material handling equipment guidance from Keith Trumbull, vice president of material handling equipment at Element Fleet Management.

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