Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Types & Fundamentals: Parts->Controls

Before operating a forklift, read and study the operator's manual discussion on controls. Locate each control and understand how to use each one.
  • Forward/Reverse Directional Controls
    The directional control allows the operator to move the forklift forwards or backwards. Directional controls can be column mounted (mounted on the steering column) or foot operated (controlled by shifting the accelerator pedal side to side).

  • Hydraulic Lift Controls
    Forklifts have hydraulic lift controls to raise and lower the forks and to tilt the forks. Visually inspect the hydraulic controls before each use and test that they are working properly. See Load Handling [covered later in our series] for more information on lifting loads.
     
  • Pedals
    Forklifts have accelerator and brake pedals that operate similarly to these pedals in other vehicles. Some forklifts also have a clutch, which allows shifting into higher forward gears.

    The inching pedal gives the operator more control of the forklift in tight places. See Steering, Turning and Changing Direction [covered later in our series] for more information on using inch pedals.

  • Parking Brake
    Forklifts are equipped with a parking brake. Be sure to set the parking brake when leaving a forklift and block the wheels if the forklift is parked on an incline. See Parking [covered later in our series] for more information on parking a forklift.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Types & Fundamentals: Parts->Danger, Warning & Caution labels

In addition to the nameplate, forklifts may have other warning labels or decals that provide safety information to operators. Safety labels should be clearly visible to the operator and must be replaced if missing, damaged, or illegible.

Under one classification system, there are three types of warning labels or decals:
  • DANGER means if the danger is not avoided, it will cause death or serious injury.
     
  • WARNING means if the warning is not heeded, it can cause death or serious injury.
     
  • CAUTION means if the precaution is not taken, it may cause minor or moderate injury.
Figures 1 and 2 show examples of warning labels.
Safety decal on forklift.
Figure 1. Safety decal on forklift.



The steps to take in a tip over of a sit-down counterbalanced forklift: Fasten seat belt, don't jump, hold on tight to steering wheel, brace feet, lean away from impact and lean forward. Note that the seat belt should already be fastened.
Figure 2. The steps to take in a tipover of a sit-down counterbalanced forklift: Fasten seat belt, don't jump, hold on tight to steering wheel, brace feet, lean away from impact and lean forward. Note that the seat belt should already be fastened.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Types & Fundamentals: Parts->Nameplate

Each operator is required to be aware of the truck specifications on the nameplate and what they mean. If there is a special attachment, it must be listed on the nameplate.
Nameplate
The nameplate (also called the data plate) provides important information for the forklift operator, including the fuel type, forklift weight, and capacity. Operators should read the nameplate to know the forklift’s capabilities and limitations.

Requirements and Recommended Practices:

OSHA requirements state:

"Approved trucks shall bear a label or some other identifying mark indicating approval by the testing laboratory. See paragraph (a)(7) of this section and paragraph 405 of "American National Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks, Part II, ANSI B56.1-1969", which is incorporated by reference in paragraph (a)(2) of this section and which provides that if the powered industrial truck is accepted by a nationally recognized testing laboratory, it should be so marked." [29 CFR 1910.178(a)(3)]
  • Train employees to properly read and understand the nameplate and to know what the information means.

  • Ensure every truck has its durable, corrosion-resistant nameplate legibly inscribed with the following information:

    • Truck model and serial number

    • Truck weight

    • Designation of compliance with the mandatory requirements of ASME B56.1, "Safety Standard for Low and High Lift Trucks," applicable to the manufacturer

    • Type designation to show conformance with the requirements, such as those prescribed by Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., and Factory Mutual Research Corporation

    • Capacity
  • Do not operate a truck with an illegible or missing nameplate.
Additional Information:

ANSI/ITSDF B56.1 calls for additional information on nameplates on high-lift trucks, electric trucks, and trucks intended for use in hazardous locations. [See ANSI/ITSDF B56.1, "Safety Standard for Low and High Lift Trucks," Section 7.5, "Nameplates and Markings"]