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Here are some of the most common mistakes made by forklift operators, why they are so dangerous and how to avoid them. 
Forklift trucks are a vital part of modern logistics and supply chain businesses, with a range of innovations and design evolutions that have shaped modern warehouses, docks and other workplaces. 
As a result, forklifts are a major part of nearly every modern warehouse and it is essential that adequate forklift training is provided to all operators, to ensure the safety of everyone working in the facility. 
Trained operators are efficient, conscientious, place safety first and are highly efficient at their roles. They need to be because some mistakes can lead to significant dangers to themselves and others. 
Here are some of the most common mistakes made by forklift operators, why they are so dangerous and how to avoid them. 
Driving An Uninspected Forklift 
Employers are required under health and safety law to ensure that all of their work equipment is in good repair and in an efficient working order to avoid potential mechanical dangers. This included regular inspections and daily driver checks before they are used. 
Problems such as insufficient fuel, damaged forks, leaking fluids or issues with steering or brake function can cause potentially lethal accidents. 
Make sure to take the time at the beginning of each working day to ensure the forklift is safe to use. 
Being Unaware Of Load Capacity 
Forklifts can carry a significant load, but even the strongest forklifts have their limits. Check the data plate on the forklift to know its maximum capacity and avoid lifting more than this threshold. 
Heavier weights on a forklift can make it unstable, as the load is placed on the front of the truck and without adequate counterbalancing on the other side is liable to topple over. 
Not Securing A Load 
When using a pallet with your forklift, this is often less of an issue as pallets are very easy to secure by design and in many warehouses are pre-secured with wrapping or cabling. 
However, when carrying objects that are an odd shape, particularly if that shape is asymmetrical, it can be difficult to keep the load on the vehicle or keep the vehicle stable. 
Keep speeds low and take extra care when traversing a workspace, especially if you are required to turn. 
Travelling Too Quickly 
Forklifts, with their rear steering, uneven weight distribution when unloaded and odd control profile, are not designed to travel quickly. Similarly, most warehouses and workplaces are designed with the idea that forklifts will travel at less than the maximum speed limit. 
Speeding forklifts can be extremely dangerous for many reasons and run the risk of causing collisions. However, this is made much worse if the forklift is carrying a load, which risks it falling off of the forks and causing property damage or serious injuries. 
Maintaining the speed limit, keeping visible and maintaining communication with other users of the workplace will reduce accidents. 
Using The Wrong Forklift For The Job 
Forklifts, from their very invention, were highly specialised pieces of equipment, which differ in fundamental ways depending on the job they need to do. 
Using the wrong forklift for the job can not only make it more difficult but can also lead to additional dangers, such as crashing into an aisle it cannot adequately work in, tipping over or damage to the machine due to rough terrain. 
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