There are a lot of moving parts on a forklift that are critical to its operation and the mast chains are no exception. As you may already know, a forklift uses hydraulic pressure to raise the mast up by raising the lift cylinders. This, in turn, raises the inner mast channels, but without the lift chains, your forks and carriage aren’t going anywhere. And if your forks aren’t being lifted, you aren’t going to be getting much work done. Continue reading
Forklifts account for only 1% of all warehouse or factory accidents. But forklift accidents tend to be more serious than others, accounting for 10% of all physical injuries in those workplaces.
Forklift safety is an ongoing learning experience. Proper training in accordance with OSHA requirements should be the first priority for all forklift operators. It is imperative that anyone who operates a forklift complies with OSHA’s training requirements. OSHA requirements have been in effect since 1999. Since they began mandating the training, forklift accidents have decreased even though the number of forklifts in use has risen steadily. An organization can be fined as much as $100,000 if proper training is not conducted for forklift operators.
Nearly 100 workers are killed each year in forklift related accidents. 24% of these accidents are the result of rollovers. Other accidents include works being struck by the forklift load, by the forklift itself, or workers falling off the forklift. The need to give safety your utmost attention as a business operator is made clear when assessing the statistics associated with forklift accidents. For example:
- 34,000 serious injuries occur each year
- Over 100,000 total accidents (serious and non-serious) happen each year
- 42% of forklift fatalities are from the operator being crushed when the forklift tips over
- 25% are crushed between the forklift and a surface (wall, load, etc.)
- 8% of workers are crushed by material falling from the forklift
- 4% of workers fall from a platform
Keeping these serious and troubling statistics in mind, implementing best practices in your facility in regard to safety is highly important.
Forklift Safety Best Practices
- OSHA recommends that a forklift driver be over the age of 18.
- Create a detailed training program for new employees and repeat the training for existing employees on a regular basis. This training should include:
- Formal Instruction
- Practical education
- Evaluations / tests
- Know capacity ratings for the forklift being driven. Forklifts have specific ratings showing how much weight it can handle. Be sure that the weight limitations are posted clearly on the forklift and instruct operators to adhere to those limitations.
- Forklifts are equipped with back-up buzzers and warning signals because often it can be hard to see around loads. Train employees to listen for the audible warning signals.
- Keep your distance if you are not operating the forklift. Instruct employees to keep a good distance away from the immediate area where forklifts are being used.
- Slow Down if you are a forklift operator. Some forklifts come with options to limit their speed. This is a good idea to add to your forklift order. Instruct operators of the maximum speed at which they may operate and enforce those regulations.
- Surfaces should be clear, free from debris and safe for operators.
- Have regular forklift inspections on each forklift.
Improper forklift operation results in accidents, damage to products and facilities, and is the result of law suits for companies each year. By following OSHA regulations and adopting strict training rules and regulations at your organization, you can prevent these accidents.
While following these procedures can result in an improved safety setting, below are some specific situations where safety questions and concerns continually arise.
Facilities Considerations for Potential Forklift Safety Improvement
Beyond following these rules for safety success, giving special attention to your facilities can help to improve safety in your operations. There are some general pieces of advice that can be followed, but remember, the unique needs and designs of your operation will ALWAYS dictate what safe practice looks like. Be sure to thoroughly analyze the safety of your site before making any major changes.
- Keep pedestrians and forklifts separated when possible.Use different aisles for pedestrian passageways and material flow.
- Use guards and barriers. Physical barriers assure that pedestrians and material handling equipment do not come into contact with each other.
- Avoid tall, narrow aisles when possible. Height can mean more efficient storage. But make sure that your forklifts and operators are capable of working in them.
- Do not obstruct intersection and doors.
- Eliminate unnecessary noise pollution. When operators and pedestrians can’t hear each other, they are more likely to be involved in an accident.
- Eliminate Poor Lighting. Operators and pedestrians need to see each other clearly whenever possible.
- Avoid installing high-grade ramps or change in floor surfaces. Each can provide hazards for forklifts while in operation.
Understanding Forklift Capacities to Ensure Forklift Safety
So, you’ve purchased a 6,000 lb. forklift. That means you can lift 6,000 lbs. at all times, no matter what, right? Wrong.
The capacity rating of a forklift is the maximum weight at which it is able to safely maneuver at a specific load center. If the forks are not at that exact load center, if the mast type has been changed, or if attachments have been added, the forklift is not capable of maneuvering that load safely.
To avoid making the colossal mistake of exceeding your forklift’s maximum capacity, remember the following:
- Purchase a higher capacity forklift than you think you will need to prevent exceeding the limit.
- Always use a scale to measure loads so you’re sure you haven’t exceeded the capacity limit.
- Operators should be trained to know the difference between the forklift model number and the capacity rating on the data plate.
- Be sure the data plate is always in place and readable.
- Talk to a forklift specialist to be sure you’re using the right forklift for your application.
Though forklift accidents are becoming less frequent every year, one main cause of forklift accidents is an operator trying to maneuver loads that exceed the forklift’s capacity rating. Talk to your local Toyota Forklift Dealer to learn more about forklift capacity ratings and which forklift would be best for you and your business.
Forklift Safety: Avoiding Forklift Accidents in No Laughing Matter
Forklift safety is no laughing matter. Toyota makes it a priority to ensure that safety is at the forefront of all of our manufacturing processes and training efforts. But while safety comes standard at Toyota, it’s the responsibility of operators and their managers to be sure that Toyota forklifts are being used appropriately. When risks are taken in the name of having fun or joking around, accidents are bound to happen. Operators should monitor their personal behavior. But a good working environment means that operators are also looking out for each other as well. That means reporting inappropriate behavior when they see it. Here are a few clear examples of inappropriate forklift use for which operators and managers should be on the lookout:
- Sitting on the counter-weight
- Allowing passengers in either the operator cab or on the exterior of the lift
- Lifting people with forks
- Lifting unintended loads on the forks
- Trying to distract an operator
- Swerving in the vicinity of pedestrians
- Adding people on the back of a lift to increase counter-weight
- Turning off lights needed for operator visibility
At Toyota, we make industry-leading forklifts with a guarantee of quality, durability, value, and reliability. And our first priority is always your safety. If you or your associates need help recognizing appropriate and inappropriate forklift use, your local Toyota Forklift Dealer offers operator safety training.
We would enjoy hearing from you. Post your ideas or comments below, let’s start a dialog.
The original article was published by Toyota Material Handling. For more information, insights or conversations regarding your forklift or material handling needs. You can visit our online contact form, use our contact form seen to the right. We would welcome the opportunity to cover your material handling questions or concerns. Toyota Lift of Minnesota works very hard to be your partner and material handling, consultant.
Having Toyota forklift support in addition to the support of your local dealer is just what the doctor ordered for almost any forklift fleet. There are so many times in our lives where having strong allies through challenging times makes all the difference in what outcomes will be.
The cost of a forklift is always more than the dollar amount you pay for it. Service and maintenance … repairs … downtime to complete maintenance and repairs … replacement parts. It all adds up. Continue reading
From all corners, we’re told that most forklift modifications require approval. Whether you look to OSHA [The Occupational Safety and Health Administration] here in the US, or in the UK British Industrial Truck Association (BITA), or the Fork Lift Truck Association (FLTA) in the UK caution flags abound.
Between scratches, dents, and replaced parts, forklifts can undergo a lot of changes and repairs throughout its lifetime. It’s also common for customers to want to add additional features to a forklift after it arrives. How do you know for sure if the modification is acceptable or how it will ultimately affect your forklift’s safe operation? Here are a few helpful tips based on common misconceptions to help guide you down the right path. Continue reading
Growing up, one of the first examples I can remember of an autonomous vehicle was the Batmobile. Regardless of whether it was single-handedly taking down a chemical plant or helping to save Adam West from a catapult, the Batmobile’s self-driving capabilities were something to behold.
While equipping our vehicles with grappling hook launchers and explosive caltrops is pretty nonsensical, marked advancements in technology have made it possible for an autonomous vehicle to become a distinct reality.
Today, many different types of equipment such as AGVs and industrial robotics are used to handle monotonous tasks such as building and horizontally transporting pallets. The next logical step in this transition is to automate the stacking and storage of products, something that current AGV models are incapable of performing.
Using forklifts effectively in any application requires assessing how they will work in concert with the other elements of your facility. From understanding your dock capabilities to making sure pallet racks and forklifts match up appropriately, a successful facility takes into account every touchpoint of forklifts in use.
An easy to overlook touchpoint that requires attention is facility flooring. Too often, operations that use forklifts experience unexpected damage to both product and equipment because floors become damaged. In this post, I’ll discuss some of the impacts of damaged floors on equipment and personnel, help identify some trouble areas on concrete floors, and discuss possible solutions to damaged flooring. Continue reading
Benjamin Franklin wrote in a 1789 letter that “Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” You wouldn’t have seen him including mast chains if they had been around then because like so many things, there is no permanence with any mast chain.
There are a lot of moving parts on a forklift that are critical to its operation and the forklift mast chains are no exception. As you may already know, a forklift uses hydraulic pressure to raise the mast up by raising the lift cylinders. This, in turn, raises the inner mast channels, but without the lift chains, your forks and carriage aren’t going anywhere. And if your forks aren’t being lifted, you aren’t going to be getting much work done.
So how does it all work? As I explained, the lift cylinders will lift the inner mast rails, but the mast chains are actually responsible for lifting the carriage and forks. Each mast chain is attached to the carriage and then routed up and over a chain wheel that acts as a pulley. The chain is then bolted into a boss that is welded onto the inner mast rail. So when the mast rails raise, the chains also raise and thus the carriage goes up with it. Continue reading
I’ve visited plenty of customers who call their Toyota forklift a nickname like “Big Orange” or “The Boss” to be able to easily identify it from other forklifts in their fleet. These nicknames are great when communicating internally, but knowing and understanding your forklift’s model number will help you communicate more effectively with people externally, like your Toyota dealer or other company locations. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a simple way to help you understand those seemingly complicated Toyota model numbers?
Well, look no further, because here’s your comprehensive guide to Toyota Forklift Model Numbers!
As with most products, Toyota model numbers are a combination of letters and numbers with each one having its own meaning. Once you understand the general sequence and meaning of each of these characters, you’ll be able to identify “Big Orange” as a THD2200-24 with pneumatic tires and 22,000 lbs capacity at a 24” load center.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Forklifts don’t have a traditional suspension system so the entire weight of the forklift and its load rests on the tires. Your average 5,000 lb. capacity forklift actually has to support up over 11,000 lbs. of weight on the front tires when fully loaded which is no small feat. Using a forklift with tires that need to be replaced can damage your forklift and create a dangerous environment for your operator as well as others nearby. Tires that need to be replaced can cause your forklift to be unstable. Riding in a forklift that needs to have its tires changed is uncomfortable for the operator and can lead to fatigue and mistakes.
Because tires that need to be replaced can become a hazard, it’s important to know how to tell when it’s time to change yours. During your pre-shift inspection, make sure to look for these warning signs that your tires may need to be replaced and contact your local, authorized Toyota dealer for assistance if any of them are detected. Continue reading
Military Matters: Helping Veterans Get off on the Right Foot in Civilian Life Through Forklift CertificationPosted on
Our veterans have given a lot of themselves to all of us, Toyota Lift of Minnesota through forklift certification and training is working to give Minnesota veterans a leg up in their civilian life. Did you know that operators of powered industrial trucks must be fully trained and employer certified as required by OSHA federal regulation? As part of the regulation, truck operators are required to complete
formal classroom training, practical hands-on training, and evaluation. We knew we could help with that.
In March of 2011, through the generosity of Toyota Industrial Equipment, who is celebrating more than 50 years in business in North America. TMHU is the supplier of Toyota lift trucks, the number one selling brand since 2002. In addition to the full line of high-quality lift trucks, the company’s extended industrial equipment solutions include Automatic Guided Vehicles and tow tractors. Toyota Lift of Minnesota began testing and certifying veterans in forklift operation. We have since certified several hundred veterans. Our training agenda includes:
- Introduction To Safe Lift Truck Operation
(includes the review of Operator, and Pedestrian videos.)
- Familiarization With The Lift Truck –
(cost, weight/mass, instruments, and controls)
- Operator Maintenance Responsibilities (inspections, equipment checks)
- Starting And Driving Practice
(practical application of skills in your environment)
- Material Handling Practice
(using loads your drivers are familiar with)
- Review And Test
(repeat showing of the videos, give furnished quiz orally and written)