Due to their excellent design, you would think tipping a modern day forklift would be almost impossible. After all, these modern designs can lift huge loads without any issues, including lifting boats. That said why do forklift accidents continue to happen? Did you know that 11 forklift deaths were reported between August and December of last year? These numbers come directly from OSHA’s Fatalities and Catastrophe report.
Can forklift tipping be prevented?
The answer to that is yes! Staying in the centre of gravity is what it is all about. The centre gravity of a forklift would stay between the tires. There are known factors that knowledgeable forklift operators understand in order to maintain that centre of gravity. Forklifts operators know the ideal range that these machines must remain in at all times:
Front to back – the load centre
Forklifts have detailed load centres, it’s a number in inches, that tell the operator how far from the front face of the forks the centre of load should be. If the load exceeds the load centre and becomes overwhelmed, the forklift is in certain danger of tipping. Weight, distance from the front tire and load elevation all play a huge part on the forklifts stability.
The design of a forklift has more length than width, therefore, it is actually very easy to tip a forklift on its side. Unacceptable driving or novice driving typically cause these machines to tip on their sides. Understand, forklifts have extremely sharp turns, adding excessive speed to the mix can inevitably lead to tipping.
Load positioning may also have an impact on side to side balance. The higher a load is elevated, the greater the chance the forklift will tip during turns. Any objects that are hanging over the sides of the forks are subject to shifting and thereby throwing the centre of gravity off. A severe enough shift of loads can easily cause the forklift to tip.
Always thoroughly inspect the forklift
A forklift that is properly maintained and inspected will keep the machine safe. There are several areas on a forklift that if not running properly could cause for a malfunction and throw off its balance. Aal Yster Forklifts recommends regular maintenance schedules and inspections on the following parts and areas:
- Radiator has no leakage
- The oil pressure
- And more that you may read in full at: aalhysterforklifts.com
Safe driving habits
Manufacturers can actually design forklifts with less capabilities, shorter forks and less power in order to make these machines safer. Unfortunately, this will impair the overall effectiveness of the forklift. The key is lies within the forklift operators using these machines properly and not going beyond the limits directed by the manufacturers. It is up to both management and operators to keep these forklifts running safely. Management is responsible in educating their staff members in the proper handling of forklifts in order to reduce accidents and injuries within the workplace.
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