Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Steering, Turning and Changing Direction

Steering, Turning and Changing Direction
Operator is releasing the inching pedal, setting the direction control to forward and pressing the accelerator. (The brake is the middle pedal.)
Figure 8. Operator is releasing the inching pedal, setting the direction control to forward and pressing the accelerator. (The brake is the middle pedal.)

Changing Direction

Potential Hazards:

While changing directions, be aware of these potential hazards:
  • Tipover.
     
  • Collision with a pedestrian, another vehicle or an object.
Requirements and Recommended Practices:
  • Come to a complete stop before changing directions.
     
  • Use a horn or warning light to warn pedestrians when reversing.

Reversing

Reversing can increase the chances of injury and accident. Use extreme caution when backing up.

Potential Hazards:

While backing up or reversing, be aware of these potential hazards:
  • Pedestrians being struck by or crushed by the forklift.
     
  • Collision with another forklift or racking.
Warning strobe light flashing as operator backs up.
Figure 9. Warning strobe light flashing as operator backs up.

Using pedal to shift from reverse to forward.
Figure 10. Using pedal to shift from reverse to forward.
Requirements and Recommended Practices:
  • Keep a clear view. [29 CFR 1910.178(n)(6)]
     
  • Look in the direction of travel. When reversing, look behind. [29 CFR 1910.178(n)(6)]
     
  • Be aware of limited visibility, and use extreme caution when driving in reverse.
     
  • Consider the use of ground guides, rear-view mirrors, spotters, or other aids to increase visibility.
     
  • Consider the noise level in your workplace. Do not assume pedestrians or bystanders are able to hear a back-up alarm.
     
  • Allow plenty of room for pedestrians. You cannot anticipate what people will do. Many have no idea how quickly forklifts accelerate and how sharply they turn.
     
  • Never assume pedestrians or bystanders are aware of the presence of heavy equipment and the intended direction of travel.
     
  • Do not grab the overhead guard when traveling in reverse. This could expose the operator's finger to serious injury.
An exaggerated tail swing is caused by rear wheel steering; the operator is turning left and the rear is swinging toward the right.
Figure 11. An exaggerated tail swing is caused by rear wheel steering; the operator is turning left and the rear is swinging toward the right.

Turning and Steering

Potential Hazards:

While steering, be aware of these potential hazards:
  • Collision with pedestrians or objects due to the forklift's tail swinging to the side opposite the direction of the turn.
     
  • Falling load following collision.
     
  • Tipover caused by turning too sharply.
Requirements and Recommended Practices:
  • When turning, reduce speed to a safe level. [29 CFR 1910.178(n)(15)]
     
  • Proceed with caution when making turns, especially when working in confined areas or narrow aisles. When the lift truck turns a corner, the rear of the lift truck swings in the opposite direction of the turn.
     
  • Anticipate the rear-end swing and start the turn as close to the inside corner as possible. Plan your route and anticipate turns.
     
  • Never turn with forks elevated.
     
  • Never turn on a grade. The forklift may tipover laterally on even a very small grade.

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