Personal Protective Equipment – Forklift Safety
There is an undeniably high risk associated with forklift operation and many strategies are applied by workplaces to mitigate this. One of the simplest ways to improve overall forklift operator safety is to ensure they are correctly outfitted with Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). As an employer, there are a number of PPE items you can provide in the workplace to increase driver safety. The benefits of their correct use shouldn’t be underestimated and everyone on site should endeavour to follow the PPE policy in place. The following are some useful pieces of equipment you could consider.
When Is High Visibility Clothing Required?
Usually mandatory on most sites and for good reason. Visibility is almost always limited in some way during forklift operation and the easier it is for drivers and other personnel on site to be identified, the less likely a collision or similar accident will be.
What Do Safety Gloves Protect?
Perhaps not commonly thought of as necessary for forklift safety, gloves can be very useful in providing increased grip on the machines controls and some protection from associated heat and vibration. They are also useful for handling loads and avoiding residue transfer from the grease and oils applied to the machine during maintenance.
When Should Protective Eyewear Be Worn?
An operator’s quality of vision is directly related to their ability to carry out safe operation of a forklift. It is therefore certainly worthwhile taking steps to allow a driver to have clear vision at all times. Eyewear would be most necessary for drivers operating outdoors where dust or wind could impact visibility, or for those who are shifting potentially hazardous goods.
What Do Steel Cap Boots Protect You From?
Highly necessary for operators and those working in shared areas alike. Steel cap boots can help to prevent or minimise crushing injuries to the foot caused by a machine or its weighted load.
Boots should be comfortable enough for a full days wear and also provide suitable grip.
Why Is Helmet Safety Important?
When lifting loads overhead, there is a risk to the operator of objects falling from above. The machines overhead guard provides some protection but a compliant safety helmet can further decrease the risk of injury.
When Is Hearing Protection Required?
Providing hearing protection for forklift operations is a delicate balancing act of making sure they aren’t exposed to more than the recommended maximum of 85 decibels of industrial noise, but also ensuring their ability to register warning tones and effectively communicate with others in the workplace is not compromised. Some form of noise reduction will likely be needed to prevent damage due to a combination of constant warning sounds and background running noise of machinery but ensure an operator’s ability to hear is not reduced so significantly that site safety is affected.
While this equipment selection cannot guarantee an incident free workplace, the correct application can go a long way to reducing associated risks and keeping drivers comfortable.