A powered industrial truck operator must always know the potential hazards and limitations of his or her vehicle. Good operating techniques and a keen awareness of your surroundings go hand in hand with safe operation of your vehicle.
Always be aware of changing road or driving surfaces, especially surfaces that are uneven, inclined, or wet and slippery; adjust your speed accordingly. Be knowledgeable of pedestrian areas, maintenance work, and contractors in the area at all times. In addition, look for overhead repair work being conducted in your area of operation.
Never allow anyone to stand or pass under elevated forks or loads. Also, never elevate a person with the forks, as that is very dangerous. Only approved and securely attached platforms may be used for this task. If a powered industrial truck must be operated on a public road, all local traffic rules and applicable regulations must be followed.
Acute knowledge of the area you work in is crucial to safety. Know where narrow aisleways are located and move cautiously in these areas, at blind corners, and in obstructed view areas. Good housekeeping is also important. In addition, do not block critical areas with your vehicle, such as aisleways, electrical panels, fire protection systems, and exits. Any delay limits response capabilities in an emergency.
Another item of concern is the great amount of property damage that can occur if these vehicles are operated improperly. Be aware of overhead obstacles such as door headers, sprinkler systems, and racks, and make sure all loads are stable before lifting or setting loads in place.
You must report all incidents to your supervisor, and never leave the scene of an accident. Near misses should also be reported to ensure the elimination of the potential for recurrence of the incident, so it does not turn into an injury the next time.
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