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Winter Forklift Safety Tips


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Forklifts are an essential piece of material handling equipment that many companies cannot do without. Helpful in warehouses, construction sites and other industrial environments, forklifts make life easier for your employees.

However, the winter season presents many challenges in the outdoor operation of forklifts. This presentation highlights key points to safe and efficient operations.

For more in-depth tips, visit the complete guide:

Published in: Automotive
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Winter Forklift Safety Tips

  1. 1. FORKLIFT SAFETY Winter Tips
  2. 2. Forklifts are an essential piece of material handling equipment that many companies cannot do without, and winter weather can present unique challenges. The key to safe and efficient operation is well-trained and attentive operators. According to OSHA, every year there are: 85 fatalities 34,900 serious accidents 61,800 non-serious accidents Forklift training is an absolute must to prevent forklift accidents!
  3. 3. There are about 855,900 forklifts in the US, and it’s estimated that 11% of all forklifts will be involved in an accident each year. 43% occur in Manufacturing 24% occur in Construction OSHA estimates that almost 50% could have been prevented by better training
  4. 4. In the next few slides, we’ll share the following winter forklift training tips. Be sure to include them in your next training session! Winter Hazards Operator Protection Forklift Protection Forklift Operation Forklift Attachments
  5. 5. Winter Hazards It’s imperative that you teach your operators how to identify all possible hazards in the winter, including: Snow and Ice Wet Conditions Slippery Conditions Limited Visibility Cold You can address many of these hazards by taking care of two things: Your operator and your forklift1 2
  6. 6. Operator Protection An important component of protecting your operators is making sure that they wear the proper winter gear, including: Warm Gloves and a Hat Outermost Gear that is in Highly Visible Colors Multiple Layers of Warm Dress Windproof Clothing Make sure your operator takes their breaks. In the winter, they need to concentrate more than usual, creating additional mental strain.
  7. 7. Forklift Protection Purchase a high quality forklift cover to protect it from the elements (OSHA will remove any self-made ones). Choose a cover with ribs and gutters to dispel water. Also, make sure you equip the forklifts with tires for winter use. The right tire will help with traction and stability. Pneumatic tires are better than solid tires in bad conditions You can use tires with chains or studs as well It can help to add a weight block to the forklift You can also grit yard areas to help with traction
  8. 8. Forklift Operation For safe operation, train your operators to use this checklist: Before During After Make sure the winter items (chains, cover, studs, tire check) are all in place Check the lighting. Is it sufficient? Check the weather outside. Is it wet or icy? Put on the cover or tire chains if necessary Check fuel and fluid levels Allow the forklift to warm up properly. This is important for the engine and hydraulics Slow down. Only go as fast as conditions will safely allow Ensure continuous visibility Continually monitor working conditions for limited visibility, slippery surfaces, etc Clean the machine. Proper maintenance is the first line of defense for safe operation Check fluid levels and top off if necessary For electric forklifts, plug in the battery For propane or diesel forklifts, plug in the battery heater (if there is one)
  9. 9. Forklift Attachments There are forklift attachments available to help you with snow control, including: Plow Scoop Salter/Sander Push and remove snow from parking, loading and working areas. Pick up and pile snow out of the way to ensure a job can continue smoothly. Treat your parking, loading, and working areas and improve traction and stability for forklifts and other machinery.
  10. 10. Make sure maintenance services, load tests and the OSHA-required annual inspection occur on time Store the forklift in a secure and dry area. Make sure it is plugged in if necessary (battery and battery warmer) Use top quality hydraulic fluid, like Hydrex XV, that has a wide working range and reaches viscosity quickly Opt for winterized diesel with additives to keep it from gelling in the winter. Diesel engines should also be plugged in overnight Winter Forklift Maintenance Lastly, don’t underestimate the benefits of a proper winter forklift maintenance routine.
  11. 11. Wishing You a Safe Winter, Your Friends at
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