Understanding Industrial Equipment and Our Manufacturing Legacy

I'm Sandra Adams, a blogger and enthusiast of many eclectic targets, including pottery and industrial equipment and supplies. I've traced my family tree as far back as I can go and there is not one moment where my family hasn't been involved in manufacturing. My dad worked as a mechanic repairing industrial machinery and if it wasn't for me, he wouldn't have anyone to pass down his knowledge to. I've always wanted to know what my dad was up to, so I'd ask him what he did everyday. I've always been really curious and this has lead me to develop a really strong understanding of industrial equipment. My love for industrial equipment hasn't waned and now I feel like sharing this knowledge with others. I've created this blog for this exact purpose.

Forklift Safety Tips


Forklift operation requires the lifting and transporting of materials that can present dangers to both the operator and to individuals that are in the area of operation.

Risks include shifting of heavy loads, which can cause a forklift to tip over, or accidents caused by obstructed view from larger loads that are being transported. Both of these issues can lead to danger to operators and workers, as well as damage to the materials being transported.

Forklift safety requires both that the equipment is working properly and that the operator is following general safety rules concerning forklift operation.

Weekly checklist for forklift safety issues

Horn and backup warning alert

Check the horn and backup chime weekly to be sure that both are operational.

Seat belt

A sudden load shift or traveling over uneven ground can cause the forklift to throw the driver out of the seat and under the wheels. Don't drive a forklift without an operational seat belt.

Fluid leaks

Oil or hydraulic fluid leaks can cause damage to the forklift and potential slip hazards to the operator and other workers. If you see fluid under the forklift but don't see it leaking, place cardboard under the lift overnight to be certain that the fluid is leaking from the lift. Oil leaks will be dark in color, while hydraulic fluid is more transparent and very slippery to the touch.

If the forklift is leaking fluids, have it repaired before further use.


Both forks should be straight and level. When one of the forks becomes bent from lifting a load that is unevenly balanced or weighs more that the stated capacity of the forklift, it creates a hazard every time the lift is used. Every subsequent load is then lifted unevenly, increasing the risk of a tipped forklift or a shift of the load.

A bent fork should be repaired or replaced as soon as possible.


The solid rubber tires of a forklift should be free of cracks and excessive wear and should have at least some visible tread. Worn tires provide little traction and can cause the forklift to slide on an inclined surface, posing a danger to the operator and bystanders alike.

Safety rules for safe forklift operation

Lifting and transporting materials

An operator should never lift a load that weighs more that the stated capacity of the forklift. The weight limitation will be listed on a plate on the forklift. If the operator is unsure of the weight of the load, they should observe the actions of the forklift.

If the forklift struggles and shakes when attempting to lift the load, it is likely beyond capacity. The rear wheels may also rise from the ground or bounce up and down. This not only presents a risk of damage to the lift but also severely affects steering, which is in the rear wheels.

When carrying a load that is high or wide enough to obstruct the view of the pathway over which the forklift must travel, the operator must drive in reverse until the destination is reached.


It should be obvious, but no one should be riding on the forklift but the operator, who is secured by a seat belt. This includes coworkers who wish to hitch a ride by clinging to the sides or back of the forklift or to engage in horseplay.

It is also a dangerous practice for coworkers to cling to the back of a forklift to pull the rear wheels down when a load that is slightly beyond capacity is lifted and the rear wheels rise from the ground. If a load is too heavy, it must be broken down until it can be lifted safely. No exceptions.

A combination of proper forklift maintenance and safety procedures can keep everyone safe and prevent expensive damage to the forklift and the materials being handled.

For more information, contact Horizon Equipment Rentals or a similar company.


9 August 2016