At Felix Loeb, we’ve been involved in the materials handling industry for a long time. Part of what we do involves warehouse and distribution solutions, and as a result, we have an eye towards safety and efficiency. Since a sizeable amount of our clients utilize forklifts, we’d like to take a moment to offer a few tips for using a forklift in the safest and smartest way possible.

Read on for 5 handy safety tips to keep in mind while operating a forklift.

  1. Check the load capacity of your forklift and be sure never to exceed it. A load that’s too heavy can damage the forklift itself, and if the load falls, someone could be hurt.
  2. Be careful to place the forklift squarely in front of the load, without being too far or too close to it. Ideally, a distance of approximately 8-12 inches is exactly right.
  3. Make sure to center your load as much as possible for even weight distribution. Since that’s not always possible, if you have to handle a load that’s off center, distribute the heaviest part of the load near the front wheels of the forklift.
  4. Carefully adjust the placement of the forks to make sure the weight of the load is evenly distributed between them. Adjusting the forks can be done either with a fork positioner or manually.
  5. When traveling, make sure not to tilt the load forwards, since that can reduce the stability of the load. In fact, when tilting the load, never tilt forwards with the forks elevated unless you’re picking up or depositing the load.