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Forklift Operation Affects Warehouse Safety and Efficiency Over Christmas

It’s Black Friday Week, which means we are now in the busiest retail period of the year. Warehouses are at capacity with increased goods for distribution and staff working overtime in forklift operation picking and prepping deliveries. The pressure is on to get goods out to customers on time, and as efficiently as possible.

But, when time pressure gets maximum attention, safety consideration often slip down to receiving minimum attention.

The pressure on forklift truck (FLT) drivers to work at maximum capacity can sometimes lead to mistakes, even from the most experienced froklift operators. This can lead to major safety issues, but they can also cause a drop in business efficiency as well.

We have created this list of common forklift truck related mistakes that drivers make, all of which could have serious effects both on safety and business efficiency this busy Christmas season.

1. Dropping Loads

In a busy environment, accidents occur and loads do get dropped. Dropping loads in the aisles can have several effects – not only does the load cause a hazard, it also affects picking rates, meaning that efficiency is greatly reduced. Additionally, stock is often damaged during the accident, affecting bottom line profits for the business.

2. Put Away Mistakes

When an FLT operator makes a mistake on a put away, stock can become irretrievable. This will affect customer deliveries, and business reputation with it.

3. Incorrect STU logging

If STU (stock take unit) are incorrectly logged on the WMS (Warehouse Management System) by the FLT operator, stock will end up in the wrong place. A simple problem, but difficult to spot, until customer returns increase.

4. Failing to Check Tyres

Tyre condition is one of the most important, yet overlooked, aspects of forklift safety. Tyre condition has a vital impact on the performance of the forklift, the driver, but most importantly on safety. It’s important for all FLT operators to perform daily checks on all tyres to ensure they are in good working condition.

5. Battery Problems

Checking the battery is easy to do and can save problems arising at the worst times possible. There is nothing worse than a faulty battery in the middle of a busy period. The simple checking of battery cell electrolyte levels and cables, looking for wear, damage or loose connections, should be part of every daily forklift operation check routine. Doing it can save a great deal of time and hassle.

6. Overloading

Tempting to do, when pressed for time, but attempting to lift and transport loads that exceed the maximum capacity for a forklift is a sure way of bringing about accidents. If FLT operators are required to drive different types of forklifts in one environment, it can be easy for the operator to lose track of the maximum capacity for each. Knowing the capacity and working within the maximum at all times is the only way to operate safely and efficiently.

7. Trying to squeeze through in a rush

Speeding is often cited as a major issue with FLT operators. However, another issue is when drivers try to navigate through tight spaces before checking to save time. It is easily to clip the side of racks and bring the whole structure down. If racking is damaged in any way, the pick area is quarantined which directly affects customer orders and sales. You may know the size of the forklift, but the load you are carrying can stick out, which it is why it is important to always be aware of the size of the working area, the forklift and your turning circle.

Reduce Accidents with Certified Training 

To quote Trevor Kletz: “To say accidents are due to human failing is like saying falls are due to gravity. It is true, but it does not help us prevent them.”

Operating a forklift in a safe and proper manner requires training, experience, skill and concentration. Even experienced forklift drivers can make silly errors that could easily be avoided. By adhering to training procedures and not cutting corners (in any way) some of the biggest forklift accidents can easily be avoided.

TTA Warehouse and Forklift Operation Driver Training

To ensure your staff are properly trained to operate forklifts to the highest standards and follow the strict regulations in place for their safety as well as the safety of those around them – contact the training team at TTA.

We provide all the training FLT operators need to avoid these common mistakes this Christmas, and to keep your workplace running smoothly, safely and efficiently.

 

 

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