5 Tips for Operating a Forklift Safely in the Rain

Operating a forklift in perfect weather can be difficult enough at times, and unfortunately many accidents still occur regardless of the conditions. So when you add in an extra factor of bad weather, the risks become far greater and the issue of safety should be even more of a consideration. Inevitably things get slippery in the rain, whether that’s the ground you’re driving on or the load you’re lifting, and it’s important to adjust to that. Here are 5 tips for operating a forklift safely in the rain.

Take Your Time

This goes for any occasion when you are operating heavy equipment, but the need to take your time is amplified when you’re doing it in rainy weather. It can be tempting when the heavens open to try and get the job done just that little bit quicker, to allow you to get out of the rain and back under cover. But it’s never more important to slow down and make sure that you are doing everything correctly. Don’t be inclined to rush.

Wear the Right Wet Weather Clothing

As well as high visibility clothing, it’s important to wear the correct wet weather gear. Waterproofs and suitable non slip footwear are absolutely essential, but it’s just as crucial to stay warm and comfortable when you’re operating machinery. When you’re cold it can take your focus away from the job in hand so layer up to stay safe, wear a hat and gloves and keep dry.

Consider Visibility

With rain comes reduced visibility, no matter how good your protective gear is. So when you’re working on a site and the weather turns sour, it’s important that you consider both what you can see, and how well you can be seen by others. Double and triple check every move you make to ensure you are seeing correctly and others around you have recognized what manoeuvres you are performing. Wear a high visibility jacket and make sure others on site are doing the same.

Think Safety First

Everybody has deadlines that they need to hit, and this can be felt keenly on site but it’s not worth risking injury, or ultimately lives to achieve them. Safety should remain your number one priority, and if that means taking a break for a while if the weather gets too poor then so be it. It’s rare that rain will get so bad as to stop work altogether, but don’t be afraid to make the call if necessary.

Always Be Vigilant

Wet weather means that you have to be more aware of how the forklift is handling, as well as the loads that you’re moving and how they respond to the rain. You also have to be vigilant of everybody around you because wet weather can affect how others behave. People may run when they should be walking, they will have their heads down rather than looking up for potential hazards and might even be hiding in places you wouldn’t expect to shelter from the rain.

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  • Posted on   05/15/17 at 06:14:13 PM   by Nick  | 
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Tagged with operating forklift in the rain, forklift safety, using a forklift in bad weather

Reader Comments (1)

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