Forklift Safety: How to Prepare for Winter

A warehouse. The place of unloading trucks

“Winter is coming.”

That phrase has been made popular lately by the HBO series “Game of Thrones,” but it’s also apt for any forklift driver, training supervisor or safety consultant. When the weather turns bad, accident rates go up.

Winter conditions are a hazard for any forklift driver operating outdoors, loading trucks on partially covered dock areas and other tricky spots. OSHA has been known to visit warehouses, dockyards, constructions sites and other areas frequented by forklifts in the winter.

Winter Safety Checklist

Here are a handful of things you can do to ensure better forklift safety as the winter months approach and take hold:

Gear up accordingly.

Make sure you and your co-workers have gloves, hats, jackets and other apparel to handle cold conditions. Many accidents in the winter are caused by numb fingers & toes, sluggish reaction time and other cold weather related instances.

Check your tires.

Given the drastic reduction in temperatures – especially for forklifts in remote northern climates – tire pressure is paramount. Make sure you adhere to your recommended tire maintenance schedule. If you’re unsure when the last time the tires were checked, give them a once-over yourself. Also pay attention to the treads. Nothing causes a winter accident faster than worn or bald forklift tires.

Remember maintenance.

Take your lifts in for a tune-up. Starters, chokes and other key operating components take a beating in the wintertime. In order to keep your lift running like it should, have it checked regularly. If not, you could be literally left stalled with nowhere to go. Perhaps more than any other time of year, winter demands extra maintenance. Ensure your lift is properly suited for a full day of work. This includes safety mechanisms.

Clear the roadway.

“Roadway,” in this case, doesn’t have to be an actual road. Any area that gets forklift traffic – loading areas, ramps, outdoor corridors – should be cleared of ice, sludge and other foreign objects.

Winter, summer, spring or autumn – regardless of the season, it always pays to have excellent forklift instruction. And, the online leader in OSHA forklift safety, has custom training sessions to benefit your company. Avoid big OSHA fines, optimize productivity, and gain some peace of mind in the process – FLC offers 3 different training packages to suit your needs. Plus, you’ll save a ton of money along the way!

Call the FLC forklift safety team at (888) 278-8896 to get started today. Our contact page is another great resource. Thanks for reading our blog – and remember to bundle up during the winter months!


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