Fork Lift Association & Thorough Examination

What To Do Every Time You Park A Forklift

Safety has to be the number one concern for any owner or operator of a forklift. But, it’s not only during operation that strict forklift safety practices have to be observed, it’s also when parking, and leaving the forklift unattended.

What does it mean by an ‘unattended’ forklift?

The definition of an unattended forklift, as stated by the OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), is when the operator is 25 feet or more away from the forklift, whether it’s in their view or not.

5 Key safety points when leaving a forklift unattended

Note: Although the following 5 points give basic guidance of what to do every time you park and leave a forklift unattended, your forklift training course will require a more thorough understanding, prior to you becoming a qualified forklift operator.

1- Park in a safe area

Most responsible businesses will provide a designated parking area for company forklifts, but during operation, it may be impractical to leave the forklift in these spaces. In these circumstances, the following recommendations and more should be taken into consideration:

  • Park away from pedestrian walkways or pathways

  • Don’t block any workplace exits or entrances

  • Never park in front of a fire extinguisher or fire safety box

  • Never park in front of a first aid or eyewash station

2- Leave the forklift in a stable resting position

When leaving a forklift unattended, it’s important to leave it in a stable resting position. This is achieved in 3 basic steps:

  1. Lower the forks until they’re flat on the ground

  2. Apply the parking brake.

  3. Set the directional control to neutral.

3- Turn the engine off

Even if you’re only going to be away from the forklift for a couple of minutes, it’s vital to get in the habit of turning the engine off and removing the key. And, if you intend on being away from the forklift for an extended period, don’t forget to hand the key to your shift supervisor, in case another operator needs to use the forklift.

4- Don’t park a forklift on a slope

There may be times when you have to operate your forklift on an incline. If this is the case, never park on the incline, especially when carrying a load.

If your forklift becomes immobilised whilst working on a slope, the wheels should be securely wedged, and if possible any remaining load safely removed.

5- Don’t park in a refuelling area

Don’t leave your forklift in, or in front of a refuelling area, as this could prevent other forklift operators from refuelling, as well as blocking fire escape routes.

Looking to buy or rent a forklift?

If you’re looking to buy or rent a forklift, or if you need forklift servicing, get in touch with Beds & Bucks Forktrucks, and we’ll be happy to help.

We have a large number of new forklifts in stock, in a variety of top brands, plus one of the largest stocks of used forklifts in the local area, and a team of forklift servicing specialists, able to carry out all your forklift servicing requirements.

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