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24 Oct 2017

5 Tips for Avoiding Warehouse Accidents

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Avoiding warehouse accidents is one of the most crucial aspects of working in a warehouse. Common accidents in warehouses are preventable with proper maintenance and safety procedures. What can you be doing to ensure you are using safe warehouse practices as an employer?

#1: Make Safety Part of the Workplace Culture

Employees will take their cues from superiors about what they should prioritize. If you only talk about the bottom line, your employees could feel pressured to make some unsafe decisions in order to help the company profit.

woman in a warehouse with safety clothing

Make sure safety clothing is worn at all times

The best thing you can do is stress the importance of everyone’s safety. Make sure your employees are trained, have safe equipment, and have someone who can address any safety concerns that may arise. Address any warehouse safety hazards in a timely manner to prevent work-related injury.

Warehouse Injury Statistics

The United States Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) records warehouse injury statistics. According to OSHA, 5 out of every 100 full-time warehousing and storage workers had a recorded injury in 2015. Over 3 out 5 injuries resulted in days away from work. How can you work to get your company below the national average?

#2: Train Employees to Lift Safely

A frequent work-related injury in warehouses is back strain from improper lifting. While employees are still in training, review the proper ways to lift heavy objects.

Slips, Trips, and Falls

Common accidents in warehouses include slips, trips, and falls. Workers can slip and fall if there are spills on the warehouse floor. Workers are also more likely to slip if they are walking on two different surfaces. Some floors are naturally slick, while others can be more dangerous if they have recently been waxed.

#3: Check Your Floors

Slips, trips, and falls can also be caused by slopes and changes in walkways, poor lighting, and unsecured mats or stray cables in walkways. Check your workplace for any loose flooring or uneven surfaces that could be hazardous.

This safety step is especially important when the weather is changing. If there has been a recent rainstorm or snowfall in your area, make sure all workers are not tracking water in on their shoes. This can help prevent slips. Mark any newly mopped or waxed areas to alert workers of a slippery surface.

#4: Wear Proper Shoes and Protective Gear at All Times

If protective gear is required for any duties an employee may have, ensure the employee is wearing the protective gear before starting a task. Protective gear cannot work if worn improperly. Untied shoelaces and compromised gear can do more harm than good.

#5: Clear the Workspace of Any Obstacles

This is good safety advice for workplaces in all industries. If you leave something out on the floor, you have put your fellow co-workers in danger of having an accident. If you know someone is driving a forklift in your area of the warehouse, make sure they will have a clear path through your area and a safe route to reach the pallets they may need to move.

Forklift Safety

man unloading a truck with a forklift

Forklift safety should be a priority in any warehouse

Forklift accidents can happen to both novices and experts, so forklift safety should be reviewed with all employees operating this machinery. This type of warehouse accident can be caused by a problem with the forklift, the person operating the forklift, or the workplace environment.

You can prevent forklift accidents by tackling problems in all three of these areas. Check any vehicles like forklifts for any faults before starting the workday. Make sure all employees who operate forklifts or similar machinery have proper and up-to-date training. Complacency is a big factor in workplace accidents. All employees should be vigilant while operating a forklift, whether it is the first time or the thousandth time. Inspect the environment in the warehouse for safety hazards. If you work on improving safety and training, you may also see an increase in productivity and effectiveness of your team.

Reno Forklift, Inc.

At Reno Forklift, forklift safety is our priority. Our 20 trained specialists can be dispatched to service forklifts in the field or in our shop. We offer complete forklift cleaning and repair to keep your fleet running safely and efficiently.

Our preventative maintenance program maintains your fleet with basic services and periodic inspections. If you need a replacement forklift, we carry the top brands of forklifts. If you need a single part replaced, we use the Promatch® parts program to get you quality replacement forklift parts.

Contact us to rent forklifts and learn more about avoiding warehouse accidents.

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24 Sep 2017

7 Quick Tips for Driving a Forklift

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Some forklift driving tips may seem self-explanatory, while others may come as more of a surprise. Here are some forklift do’s and don’ts before you get started!

DO: Read Forklift Safety Rules

Whether you are a seasoned pro or are driving a forklift for the first time, it never hurts to familiarize yourself with the rules. Operation instructions can change over the years. The first thing that can go wrong with operating most technology is not reading directions or rules connected with that technology. Stay safe and stay sharp when it comes to forklift safety.

Are you wearing proper attire for driving a forklift? Loose clothing can get caught on machinery. Suggested attire for driving a forklift can include a hard hat, safety shoes, and a high-visibility jacket. This is even more important for the people who are surround you as you drive a forklift.

DO: Make Sure the Forklift is Safe to Operate

man fixing a forklift

Before you drive, make sure your forklift is in good condition

Before you operate a forklift, make sure the forklift is in operating condition. You wouldn’t step on the gas in a car that had didn’t have working headlights! Are there any warning lights on? Check the tires for wear and look around the forklift for any oil leaks. Take a look at the coolant, engine oil, and transmission fluid levels before you get started.

Make sure the brakes, steering, and controls are all in working condition. If something’s not right, do not risk putting yourself and others in danger. Contact a supervisor to inform them that the forklift is out of order and in need of repair.

DON’T: Operate a Forklift Without Certification

According to OSHA requirements, you need to be certified before you can be driving a forklift. Federal OSHA does not require you to have a valid driver’s license to operate a forklift, but you do need proper training and certification.

You do not need to be trained on every make and model of forklift, but it does help to be familiar with how various forklift models operate differently. If you have only trained on a sit-down rider forklift, you will need training to switch to another type like a stand-up truck.

DO: Practice

Certification should come with training, which means supervised practice. If you are driving a forklift for the first time, one crucial thing to remember is that forklifts are steered by the rear wheels, unlike most cars.

Before starting the forklift, make sure your seat belt is fastened and you can reach all of the controls to drive the forklift. When turning a corner, go slowly and use your horn to let pedestrians and other forklift operators that you are on the other side of the corner. This action can help prevent any collisions.

Think about the load’s destination and the path you need to take to get there. These factors may affect how you pick up the load.

DON’T: Drive Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs

This seems like a no-brainer, but it still needs to be said. Are you taking pain pills for a recent injury or surgery? Check your prescription information to see if there is a warning about operating machinery while taking that prescription.

DON’T: Lift Your Load Too High

Proper load balancing is imperative to driving a forklift safely. If you lift a load too high, you can cause the forklift to tip over. If you are carrying a heavy load, you will want to make sure that the load is secure beyond the tip of the forks. Counterbalance your load by driving with back tilt or mast vertical. The load should be titled back, and the forks should sit low. Some loads may require ropes or bindings in order to safely transport them.

DO: Use Designated Roadways

two forklift drivers picking crates

Be alert for people and objects when driving a forklift

When driving a forklift, use approved roadways designated by your workplace. If you go off the path, you can run into surfaces that are not forklift-friendly. Avoid bumps, uneven ground, and slippery surfaces while operating a forklift. If you drive too close to the edge, you put yourself and others in danger.

Reno Forklift

At Reno Forklift, we carry the top brands of forklifts to fit your needs. Reno Forklift offers service and repair as well as preventative maintenance for forklifts, trash compactors, floor scrubbers, and more. Reno Forklift is a licensed contractor in both Nevada and California, so we can help with any of your Tahoe or Truckee construction projects.

Reno Forklift has been in business for nearly 50 years and also offers consultation and training services. Contact us to learn more about what Reno Forklift has to provide, from driving a forklift to storage systems!

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The forklift is the staple of the modern warehouse. A well-functioning forklift makes operations both efficient and profitable. Yet, if a company’s forklifts aren’t up to par the site’s performance will suffer as well. Even worse, the work site can be at risk for serious safety issues. Regular maintenance of forklifts is of the utmost importance. Here, we’ll look at five ways forklift maintenance can impact warehouse safety.

  1. The Dangers of Emissions

    carbon monoxide from a forklift | Reno Forklift

    Always check the forklift emissions

    Some forklifts, like cars, emit exhaust fumes during use. These fumes contain dangerous air pollutants that can cause cancer and respiratory disease. Diesel forklifts produce dangerous gases such as nitrogen oxides and carbon monoxide. The effects of carbon monoxide poisoning are nausea, vomiting, headaches and vision problems. Carbon monoxide from a forklift can even cause unconsciousness or death.

    When it comes to harmful emissions the most effective forklift maintenance is prevention. Warehouse employees should keep accurate records of the truck’s usage and mechanical issues. Exhaust fume measurements will help ensure compliance with forklift emission standards. In some cases, it is better to use a clean fuel or electric vehicle. Exhaust fumes from propane powered forklifts are a lot safer.

  2. Hazardous Tire Conditions

Don’t overlook the condition of a forklift’s tires. Tires play a major role in stabilizing the load and maintaining fuel efficiency. Inspecting tires daily is important. Damaged tires should be removed or replaced as soon as possible. A flat tire can make the forklift tip over and cause an accident. This would likely cause serious injury to the driver and nearby employees.

Unsafe tires can also cause problems for the warehouse facility itself. Bald tires can affect the driver’s ability to control the vehicle. If a driver spins or skids out of control it can result in property damage to racks, doors, manufacturing machines and walls. It can also destroy nearby inventory or other forklifts.

Another tire hazard to check for is chunking. Unlike car tires, forklift tires tend to lose chunks of rubber due to driving on rough surfaces. Chunking will affect the smooth ride of the vehicle. It also causes the load to bounce around and become unstable. It can also make the driver more fatigued because they will have to take extra care while driving. Chunking on tires can increase the likelihood of accidents.

  1. Hidden Fluid Leaks

Regular fluid checks can help keep your forklift in tip-top condition. Even a new forklift needs top-offs of hydraulic fluid, engine oil and transmission fluids. These substances help the motor and other parts to function efficiently. Drivers should check fluid levels on a consistent basis. Regular checks will ensure that no flammable liquids are leaking onto the work site or floor. By making sure fluid levels are at an optimal level will also help extend the life of the vehicle.

  1. Faulty Gauges and Warning Lights

Newer forklifts are unlikely to have problems with warning lights or gauges. However, drivers should inspect older machines to make sure the devices are functioning properly. Lights and gauges are an employee’s first line of defense against forklift accidents. It is impossible to perform preventative maintenance when these features are not working. Inoperable gauges also give a driver a false sense of security while working. This can cause unsafe situations for everyone in the warehouse.

  1. Battery Charges and Changes

new forklift | Reno Forklift Services

Always check the Forklift’s battery

Care must be taken when working with a forklift battery. This is especially true with electric forklifts which use heavy, lead-acid batteries. Warehouse safety rules should designate one part of the facility for battery charging and changing. This will minimize the risk to staff and inventory if something should happen.

Certain employees need to be specially trained to handle battery issues. These employees will need to understand the dangers associated with handling batteries. This includes understanding how to deal with battery acid leaks, hydrogen gas emissions, and battery cell burns. Protective clothing and gloves are also essential to a safe battery changing process.

A Final Word on Forklift Safety

Forklift safety starts with daily inspections. It also requires a thorough scheduled maintenance plan to address potential problems beforehand. Maintaining a forklift should not be taken likely. Industrial trucks are powerful machines that can become dangerous at any time.

If you need assistance with forklift maintenance in Reno contact us for additional information. We can help you find the best solution for your warehouse needs.

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