Forklifts are industrial vehicles with a power-operated fork at the front. This fork is used to lift, lower, raise and move cargo. The propulsion of forklifts is either through combustion engines or electric batteries.
Forklifts can be classified as stand up forklifts and sit-up forklifts. As the name suggests, sit-up forklifts are designed to be operated while sitting, whereas in a standup forklift, the operator controls the machine while standing.
Forklifts make work easier and increase efficiency, especially where the movement of bulky goods and cargo is required. They are commonly used in warehouses, dockyards, construction sites, and recycling plants or used as snowploughs.
Any workplace is mandated to guarantee and ensure employee safety. There are guidelines for safety precautions within any workplace. Investing in forklift safety accessories guarantees safety with the forklift for both the operator and people around the working area.
Forklifts often operate within limited spaces such as narrow aisles, and thus there exists a high risk of injury to the operator or other employees. Damage to premises, assets, or cargo may also occur, leading to financial losses if adequate precautions are not considered.
A study revealed that overturning and stability were the most potential risks when operating a sit-up forklift. For stand up forklifts, potential risks include: collision accidents, fall accidents, pedestrian accidents, maintenance accidents, pedestrian accidents, and stability accidents.
Regular maintenance of forklifts alongside proper training will minimize machine failure and avert hazards and risks. Installation of extra safety and maintenance accessories to any forklift machine will assure safety and easier maintenance.
Some of the common forklift accessories include:
- Seat belts – Like in automobiles, safety belts save lives in an accident such as overturning or collision. Most forklifts lack an enclosed cabin, and thus fastening of seat belts for sit-up forklifts provides restraint to the operator.
- Advanced warning systems. Forklifts should have warning signs, either visual, audio, or both. They allow for alerting pedestrians and other employees when working and thus reducing the likelihood of accidents.
- Blue lights. Some warehouses and manufacturing industries produce high noise levels. The installation of blue lights on forklifts may be used as a warning sign for employees in a noisy environment. When the illumination of the blue light is bright, one can know that the forklift is nearing.They are normally installed strategically at the top of the machine hence can be easily seen.
- Strobe lights. These lights are often used to alert oncoming heavy machinery and are often placed at eye level for better visibility and making one alert.
- Blindspot cameras. Installing blind spot eliminating cameras to forklifts makes it easier to maneuver while ensuring safety. Blindspot cameras are applicable in forklifts handling large cargo loads.
- Protective rubber attachment. These rubber attachments include mats, caps, and cushions. The attachments provide grip and stability to the forklift, especially while moving cargo.
- Illuminated signs. The use of reflective or illuminated signs makes them visible, especially in warehouses that may be dark or with low illumination.
- Guidance lasers. They help operators and drivers to control the machine without collision, especially in narrow aisles.
- Personal protective gears. Within any premise or site with heavy pedestrian traffic or machines moving, all employees must wear reflective clothing and vests and, in some cases, even helmets to prevent head injury.
Apart from safety accessories, other forklift maintenance accessories include the following:
- Forklift battery watering gun. It adds water to the battery and shuts off automatically once the adequate level is attained.
- Big blue led safety light. It creates a spot that is larger than the common blue light.
- Forklift bright light. It provides more light life than a conventional headlight and is suited for high noise and vibration equipment.
- Clear cap – It protects the operator from elements such as precipitation, sunlight, and dust.
- Cap-off battery cap removal tool. It makes the opening of the battery cap easier and protects your hands while opening.
- Dissipator battery cap. It is revolutionary since it returns evaporated water back to the battery, reducing the need to add water frequently.
- The lift truck log contains a lockout tag and has a checklist of forklift maintenance routines.
- Magnetic battery holder safely secures cables to any metal or battery.
- Safe view wireless camera system provides for various angles of view while operating a forklift.
- Handy mag trio. It normally consists of Handy-Mag Utility Box, Handy Mag Clipboard, and Handy-Mag Tape Gun. The trio ensures all your forklift supplies are available when you need them hence allowing easy installations.
A customized forklift will assure efficiency and greater productivity while upscaling the operator’s safety and the surrounding people.