Forklift is one dangerous piece of heavy equipment and is used very widely in many types of industries. Because of its popularity, it is responsible for hundreds of deaths and injuries yearly. Accident is fairly common when the forklift is in use. Among the dozens of risks involved in forklift operation is tip over.
Forklift tip over is one of the common accidents that could happen in a busy workplace. Tip over is a serious hazard that could lead to serious injury to the operator and people around, it could also lead to material and property damage. Thus, it is important for you to know the reasons and how to survive such accident.
What To Do If The Forklift Tips Over?
A well-trained and safety-conscious forklift operator is crucial for the safe operation of the forklift. But, the reality is, sometimes, safety is taken for granted and underestimated its value. We set aside safety and instead we think about the boost in production and complete the quota. This is when accident happens.
Tip over is one of the frequently occurring incidences in a busy work environment. If you do not know what to do in such event, here are what you need to do:
Don't Jump Out Of The Vehicle
The first instinct one may think or do when the forklift is overturning is to jump off. This is a common mistake operators make. When you realize that the forklift is tipping over, never attempt to jump off its cabin because you could be pinned, the sheer weight of truck can crush you. Always wear your seatbelt, it will protect you from the impact. The seat belt will also protect you from being thrown out of the cabin. Jumping out of the vehicle increases the potential risk of serious injury.
Stay In Your Seat
By remaining in your seat during tipping over and bracing yourself for impact are the viable ways to survive such forklift accident. When you try to flee, you may not have sufficient time, it always results to pinning down causing severe injury and even death.
Grip The Wheel Securely
By holding and pushing hard against the steering wheel firmly could help you absorb the initial impact and keeping you thrown away or hit your head onto the steel frame of overhead guard.
Brace Yourself With Your Feet
By using your feet to push back into the seat to brace yourself to absorb the impact of a tipping forklift can help you survive such accident. You can use your feet to lean away and to the opposite direction of the fall. This will minimize the risk of suffering an injury.
Preventing Forklift Tip-Over Accident
- The vital step in ensuring that tip-over will never happen is to have the operators educated of the safety aspects of operating forklifts. Only certified operator must be permitted to drive the vehicle, otherwise, accident will inevitably takes place.
- Always ensure that the load capacity of the vehicle is never exceeded. You can refer to the forklift’s data plate. Never lift more than the recommended load capacity of the forklift.
- Never over speed especially when the forklift is laden. Always follow the workplace’s speed limit. Driving too fast could also cause pedestrian run-over. Always maintain the driving speed limit.
- Reduce the vehicle’s speed when making a turn.
- When transporting a load and passing on a ramp, always make sure the load is facing the ramp and do not turn in an incline.
- When traveling, always make sure that the height of the forks is 4-6 inches from the floor surface. Do not exceed the recommended height of the forks.
- Always make sure that the load being transported is tilted back securely and never stop abruptly.
- Never accelerate too fast in reverse or forward.
- Do not turn with the load lifted too high.
- Do not lift a load in an incline or slope.
To Summarize This
Though all of these precautions may apply to the customary counterbalance forklift where the operator is sitting down, other precautionary measures may vary depending on the type of forklift.
Tip over can be prevented if the operator is properly trained and educated about the safety of the equipment. The operator should understand the design of the forklift he will be using and its physics principle. In every type of forklift, the rule is similar and simple – the equipment’s center of gravity should be inside the wheelbase. The center of gravity should stay in that position, it should not move forward or too far to any direction, otherwise, risk of tip over can happen.