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Welcome to Dillon Toyota Lift's blog. Here you will find everything from product features, industry education, operator insights, racking, warehouse design, material handling solutions, safety, trends, best practices and more!
We’ve been counting down to National Forklift Safety Day, excited to share its important message. While Toyota Forklifts is sure to spend this month celebrating safe forklift use, we understand that forklift safety is a practice that calls for year-round commitment from all of us, operators and pedestrians alike.
The best way to ensure a safe work environment where forklifts are in use is to have a plan for both your operators and your facility. Here are three ways you can maintain safe forklift use in your facility year-round.
It’s required by law (OSHA Regulation: 29CFR1910.178(l)) for forklift operators to be trained before legally operating a forklift. Why is training so important? According to the National Safety Council, 70% of all industrial accidents are caused by operator errors. According to OSHA, proper training may reduce accident rates by 25-30%.
Even after forklift operators are trained and ready to work, the employer must reevaluate each operator every three years to make sure their skills are up to par. It is also the responsibility of employers to make sure that each operator has the proper training on every kind of equipment they use (e.g. being trained to operate a sit-down counterbalanced forklift does not mean you’re trained to operate an order picker). Only trained operators who have read and understood the operator’s manual should operate forklifts.
Safety Comes Standard
Toyota Material Handling meets and exceeds ANSI and OSHA requirements, putting operators and your business first.
Forklift operators should know the ins and outs of every forklift they operate as well as when and where the forklift can and will be used. They should conduct daily pre-operation inspections and be familiar with a forklift’s warning signs for malfunction.
Operators should also be familiar with the facility they’re working in and should be evaluated in the actual environment where they will be using the forklift as part of their operator safety training.
Pedestrians in areas where forklifts are operating share the responsibility of maintaining a safe environment. Know the designated walkways. Wear safety goggles and/or closed-toe shoes when required. Understand that a forklift operator may not be able to see you.
Establishing a culture of awareness and communication within your facility will go a long way in ensuring an all-around safer operation. Have a question about forklift operator safety training or maintaining safe forklift use in your facility? We are here to help!
Toyota’s continued commitment to safety sets the standard in the material handling industry. At Toyota, we take safety as an enduring promise to our customers, one that we’ve delivered on time and time again, from our introduction the System of Active Stability in 1999 to our continued support of National Forklift Safety Day. As Toyota Material Handling President and CEO and former Industrial Truck Association chairman, Brett Wood, says “If you have a safe, comfortable operator, you’ll have a productive operator.”
But maintaining the health and safety of your employees isn’t just imperative to the success of your business. It is also your legal responsibility under OSHA’s General Duty Clause. An unsafe workplace environment can have a much deeper impact than just lost time and productivity or increased cost. Working in unsuitable conditions or operating unsafe machinery can cause considerable damage or even fatal outcomes. What measures can you take to ensure the safety of your employees and maintain a culture of safety awareness for forklift equipment?
Be sure that only trained operators are using any forklifts or other equipment.
All equipment should be properly maintained and inspected regularly to confirm that it is in safe working condition.
All equipment should be used as intended.
An unsafe environment can lead to expensive costs of repairs, including incremental damage that can cost about ten times that of the cost of forklift repairs. Adding a Toyota Planned or Full Maintenance plan can help you ensure the excellent and safe working condition of your forklift and reduce these costly, incremental repairs. By making sure these precautions are in place, you will help protect your employees and your equipment.
As a piece of essential warehouse equipment, forklifts are everywhere. There are currently around 1,000,000 forklifts helping businesses stay organized, and productive throughout the United States. They are one of the most powerful tools in improving efficiency. However, with great power comes great responsibility. Forklifts can be hazardous, and the cause of expensive citations, workplace accidents, injuries, and even death.
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), forklift violations are consistently one of the top 10 violations costing businesses about $135,000,000 every year. OSHA also estimates that forklifts cause of approximately 110,000 accidents annually. Of these, about 35,000 resulted in serious injuries, and about 85 accidents resulted in death.
Any workplace that uses forklifts should emphasize forklift safety. Promoting forklift safety will prevent costly violations and accidents. Here are 5 ways to optimize forklift safety:
Studies show that proper training and education is a great deterrent of accidents. Employers should develop and implement a training program based on the general principles of safe operation, the types of forklifts used in the workplace, the potential hazards in the workplace, and the general safety requirements of the OSHA standard. According to OSHA, with these training policies, about 70% of forklift accidents could be prevented.
Additionally, operators must be properly certified per OSHA regulations. OSHA requires forklift operator to be certified in a two-phase training course: a classroom-style training and test, and a hands-on evaluation. Only trained and competent operators can be permitted to operate a forklift. You can find all the necessary information about training and certification here.
Many forklift accidents happen because the operators are not knowledgeable about how much their forklifts can carry. In fact, tip-overs due overloading is a leading cause of forklift accidents. So, understanding your forklift’s load capacity is extremely important.
A forklift’s load capacity is found in two places: on the data plate of the forklift, and in the operator’s manual. This capacity refers to a balanced load carried on the stated load center. It can change depending on the attachments used, the height of the lift, and the length of the load.
With a load, the center of gravity of the forklift is at the center of the triangle. But as you add more weight to the forks or raise the mast with a load, the center of gravity shifts to the front of the triangle. Moving the center of gravity out of the Stability Triangle by adding too much weight or adding weight in the wrong places can cause tip-overs.
Maintaining your forklift is not just a great way to extend the life of your forklift, it is also one of the best ways to ensure forklift safety. Regular maintenance safeguards your forklifts against problems that go beyond the normal wear and tear. OSHA requires daily inspections to be performed at the beginning of each shift. If a forklift is equipped with a safety device, the device must be in good working order otherwise the forklift should be tagged out of service until it can be repaired. These daily inspections also help operators identify operational issues so they can be addressed before they become bigger problems or lead to accidents. By keeping your forklift in optimal working condition, you will have a safe operating experience.
A lack of awareness in the workplace can be detrimental not only to the products you are moving but also to your employees. Many accidents occur because the operator or someone in the forklift’s vicinity is not paying attention. Practice mindfulness by paying attention, keeping an eye on where you’re going, using your alarms to alert others of your presence, ensuring your loads are balanced and within load capacity, and driving safely. These five simple actions can prevent accidents and save lives.
Another way to promote forklift safety and prevent accidents is to store your forklifts properly after use. They should be parked on a flat surface. Engage your parking brakes. Make sure your forks are flush to the ground. The forklift should be turned off, and the keys should be removed from the ignition.
Nearly 100 workers are killed each year in forklift related accidents. 24% of these accidents are the result of rollovers. Other accidents include works being struck by the forklift load, by the forklift itself, or workers falling off the forklift. The need to give safety your utmost attention as a business operator is made clear when assessing the statistics associated with forklift accidents. For example:
Keeping these serious and troubling statistics in mind, implementing best practices in your facility in regard to safety is highly important.
Improper forklift operation results in accidents, damage to products and facilities, and is the result of law suits for companies each year. By following OSHA regulations and adopting strict training rules and regulations at your organization, you can prevent these accidents.
While following these procedures can result in an improved safety setting, below are some specific situations where safety questions and concerns continually arise.
Beyond following these rules for safety success, giving special attention to your facilities can help to improve safety in your operations. There are some general pieces of advice that can be followed, but remember, the unique needs and designs of your operation will ALWAYS dictate what safe practice looks like. Be sure to thoroughly analyze the safety of your site before making any major changes.
So, you’ve purchased a 6,000 lb. forklift. That means you can lift 6,000 lbs. at all times, no matter what, right? Wrong.
The capacity rating of a forklift is the maximum weight at which it is able to safely maneuver at a specific load center. If the forks are not at that exact load center, if the mast type has been changed, or if attachments have been added, the forklift is not capable of maneuvering that load safely.
To avoid making the colossal mistake of exceeding your forklift’s maximum capacity, remember the following:
Though forklift accidents are becoming less frequent every year, one main cause of forklift accidents is an operator trying to maneuver loads that exceed the forklift’s capacity rating. Talk to your local Toyota Forklift Dealer to learn more about forklift capacity ratings and which forklift would be best for you and your business.
Forklift safety is no laughing matter. Toyota makes it our priority to ensure that safety is at the forefront of all of our manufacturing processes and training efforts. But while safety comes standard at Toyota, it’s the responsibility of operators and their managers to be sure that Toyota forklifts are being used appropriately. When risks are taken in the name of having fun or joking around, accidents are bound to happen.
Operators should monitor their personal behavior. But a good working environment means that operators are also looking out for each other as well. That means reporting inappropriate behavior when they see it. Here are a few clear examples of inappropriate forklift use for which operators and managers should be on the lookout:
At Toyota, we make industry-leading forklifts with a guarantee of quality, durability, value, and reliability. And our first priority is always your safety. If you or your associates need help recognizing appropriate and inappropriate forklift use, Dillon Toyota Lift offers operator safety training.
Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
The fuel inside the LP tank is contained at a high pressure and has a temperature of 44 degrees below fahrenheit. Contact with the fuel can damage your eyes and skin and cause frostbite. Avoid contact with wrap-around safety glasses and thick, rubber gloves.
Check for remaining fuel
Never assume that because the forklift engine died that fuel isn’t present. Ensure the line and fitting have no remaining fuel that can spray on your hands or face when you disconnect the coupler.
Unscrew the fitting off the tank. Remove the empty tank and store it properly.
A leaking tank can result in an explosion. Inspect your fuel tank for frost build-up, dents, gouges, heavy rust, and o-ring condition. Also check the forklift hose and fitting for any visible damage.
Put the tank on the locating pin. The locating pin on the forklifts tank bracket serves four purposes: it positions the tank properly for the hose and fitting alignment to connect without twisting or stretching the hose; ensures the pressure relief valve won’t spray LP fuel; aligns the main valve pick-up tube inside the tank to get almost all the fuel out of the bottom; and allows the fuel gauge to read correctly.
Check the valve and o-ring
Confirm the new tank valve is off. If the hose coupler is screwed on an opened tank valve, it could upset the check valve in the tank fitting and spray LP. Also, ensure the o-ring from the empty tank did not pull out, jamming the check valve. If no fuel can pass through the check valve, the forklift will not start up.
Connection and the valve
Screw the forklift fitting all the way and hand tighten it on the tank fitting. Slowly open the valve, being careful not to over-tighten it in cases of leaks, fire or explosions; you need to be able to shut off the valve quickly. With the valve opened fully, the 10% surge valve inside the tank will shut the tank off in case an LP hose or fitting fails.
Look, listen and smell
If you see visible white frost, hear rushing noises or smell a bad odor – You have a leak! Because it is heavier than air, LP vapor pools on the ground and will look for a source of ignition. Shut off the tank valve and ventilate the area.
When a forklift is down and in need of repair, operators and managers are tasked with ensuring, first, the safety of those in their warehouse, and, second, that no further damage to the forklift or moved product occurs. When a forklift goes down, lockout tagout procedures should be initiated to help operators address both requirements simultaneously.
The OSHA Lockout Tagout Standard for The Control of Hazardous Energy (Lockout/Tagout), Title 29 CFR, outlines the required procedures for disabling machinery to help protect operators and other associates from unexpected bursts of energy or startup while maintenance activities are being performed on a piece of equipment.
Commonly, lockout tagout procedures included attaching a locked box to the forklift and a red and white warning tag hanging from the steering wheel. The box is a lockout box that isolates the forklift power source to the forklift so it cannot be operated and the tag provides information about why this forklift is locked out from its power source. Information you might see on the tag is the last date someone was working on the forklift, who last worked on the forklift, and the type of repair that is being performed. The procedure is meant to protect both the operators of the forklifts and the technicians performing maintenance on the forklifts. It’s to your benefit to fully understand this procedure as OSHA Standard 29 CFR 1910.333 requires lockout and tagout procedures be used on all equipment that uses electric energy for industrial purposes. This standard is meant to control hazardous energy such as electrical or hydraulic energy sources in forklifts. A typical lockout tagout procedure might follow these steps.
Step 1: Detail your procedure in full, including location
Step 2: Communicate the breakdown to ALL impacted associates
Step3: Shut down your equipment following detailed shutdown procedures
Step 4: Use lockout box or other procedure to interrupt energy output
Step 5: Follow procedures to eliminate any residual energy sources
Step 6: Attempt to start the equipment to make sure it will not start
Step 7: Perform maintenance
Step 7 b: Make sure to communicate breakdown across shifts
Step 8: Employ reverse lockout tagout procedures to reintegrate equipment into operation
To protect both operators and technicians, keep in mind these three tips about your lockout tagout procedure:
Removing the keys from the ignition is not enough to lockout your forklift. The forklift is still connected to the power source. It does not matter whether the forklift is powered by a liquid propane gas (LPG) tank or a battery, the hazardous energy is not isolated. Because the energy source is not isolated, there is potential for an unexpected release of energy, making both operators and technicians vulnerable to an accident.
Your lockout tagout procedure should be well documented. The documented process also makes it easier to communicate and train employees. If employees need clarity, the documented procedure is the first resource to turn to for answers. Once the procedure is documented, communicate the procedure and set up routine training to keep lockout tagout top-of-mind.
The success of your lockout tagout procedure cannot truly be assessed until the procedure is implemented. It allows you to gauge if the procedure is working, where improvements can be made, and how the procedure can change or evolve to become safer.
Original Post: Kenny Trusnik, Toyota Material Handling, USA
Forklifts are no strangers to harsh environments. Rain, sleet, snow, wind, dust, dirt, and various other kinds of substances in the atmosphere can really do a number on them. Not to mention extreme temperatures and seasonal changes that can put a lot of stress and wear and tear on a forklift.
The same applies to forklift operators who are subjected to these harsh elements as they try to get through the work day. So what can you do to help keep your operators comfortable, happy, and productive in these types of unpleasant conditions? Utilizing an operator cabin or overhead guard cover to provide an extra level of weather protection could be just the right solution.
One option for basic weather protection is the polycarbonate overhead guard cover. These types of covers are typically made available as a factory or field installable feature to help shield the operator compartment from rain and inclement weather. It consists of a polycarbonate (plastic) sheet that is attached to the top of the overhead guard. The method of attachment will depend upon the design. Many types come with tinted versions to help reduce glare form the sun.
While attempting a DIY solution may seem like a cheap and efficient method to provide protection, such a solution may be a violation of ANSI or OSHA regulations. In most instances, using manufacturer approved parts and installation instructions is necessary to keep your forklifts compliant.
In addition to a polycarbonate overhead guard cover, polycarbonate forklift cabs also include doors and front and back windshields to help shield operators from the elements in all directions. These designs typically use hinged doors and sometimes incorporate windows, locking doors, and windshield wipers as well. While these cabs don’t come with all the amenities of a steel cab, they provide a cost-effective alternative and many can accommodate additional features through a special design request. The polycarbonate cab option on Toyota’s Core IC Pneumatic models is also a great option if you’re in need of retrofitting an existing forklift with a cab.
A step up from the polycarbonate cab, the steel cab incorporates steel panels into the design for greater rigidity and typically has a tighter seal for better protection from the elements. Many steel cabs, such as the one available on Toyota’s Core, Mid, and Large IC models also feature headliners, front and rear washer/wiper systems, locking doors, glass windows, a fan, and a heater/defroster. For warmer environments, air conditioning units can also be installed to help reduce the temperature in the compartment.
40% of all forklift accidents involve a pedestrian. Safety comes standard on all Toyota forklifts and we recommend that all operations follow safety best practices to help limit risk to operators and pedestrians in material handling settings. However, there are certain job sites in which alternative precautions for visibility make sense. Enter the Red-Zone LED Warning Light.
Ensure pedestrians stay a safe distance away from the lift truck with the Red-Zone LED Warning Light. The Red-Zone emits a red beam on the floor to keep pedestrians away preventing foot injury or collisions from rear end swing. The Red-Zone LED Warning Light also includes mounting hardware. Buy Now!
Having a daily forklift inspection may seem like such a simple task, but operators can be tempted to skip having this daily walk around. Finding a small issue with your forklift now, can prevent a larger problem from taking place later on. This not only protects your operators, but as well as any pedestrians and product that your forklift will be around. Not to mention, it is also stated in OSHA 29 CFR 1910.178 standard language that forklifts must be inspected before being put into service at the beginning of a shift or daily where vehicles are in round-the clock use. Here are some of the best practices when performing your daily forklift inspection.
Have a checklist
Whether you’ve created the checklist, or the manufacturer has provided you a sample, having one helps ensure that your operator is looking over every part of the forklift. If you are improvising your required daily walk around, you may miss something important.
Make it a Routine
We understand things get busy and every facility gets hectic, but if you can implement an inspection at the beginning of every shift, it will eventually become a habit. Get into a routine, and stick to it. If you’re an operator, you’ll be more comfortable knowing you’re driving a forklift that is in safe, working order. If you’re a manager, you’ll have peace of mind that your operators are using forklifts that will work, maintain efficiency, and keep them safer.
If a Problem is Found, Pull the Forklift
If you do find an issue, don’t run the forklift. Tag it out of your operation immediately. Safety should always be your first priority. You may be losing some money while the forklift is down, but you also may be protecting yourselves, or your driver, from something worse. Small problems can quickly turn into bigger costs and safety concerns. And downtime can be mitigated by having a full-line forklift supplier who provides excellent and timely service.
Keep in mind, different forklifts require different inspection check lists! If you have a large fleet with many different forklifts, make sure they have their own specific inspection sheets.
Original Post: Lucas Collom, Digital Projects Administrator, Toyota Material Handling, USA
Forklifts are used every day all over the world to move material and keep supply chains up and running. Nearly everything you see has come into contact with a forklift at some point along the way. Any individual who operates a forklift is required by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to undergo forklift operator safety training and to be certified on every different type of forklift an operator drives. When you take an operator safety training course with Dillon Toyota Lift, here are some of the things you’ll learn:
1.Who can operate a forklift? Only trained, qualified operators should ever operate a forklift.
2. The difference between forklifts and automobiles. Forklifts are different from automobiles. While at first glance it may not seem to be the case, a forklift weighs much more than a car or truck. The steer wheels are in the back meaning they steer differently.
3. How to enter and exit a forklift. A three point stance should be used when both entering and exiting a forklift. Two hands and one foot should be in contact with the forklift at all times.
4. How to read a forklift data plate. All forklifts should have a legible, accurate data plate. For each special attachment, a data plate reflecting changes in load capacity should also be secured to the forklift.
5. The operation of a loaded versus an unloaded forklift. A loaded forklift is more stable than an unloaded forklift because of the change of location of the combined center of gravity.
6. The role of pedestrians in safe forklift operation. Pedestrians play a role in forklift safety, just as operators do. Pedestrians should understand and be aware of the operating characteristics of forklifts as well as the environment they share with the forklifts. It should never be assumed that the pedestrian is seen by the operator.
7. The necessity of pre-operation forklift inspections. It is required that all operators perform pre-operation inspections to identify that all forklift systems work properly before being placed into service. Engines, transmissions, brakes, mast and hydraulics, electrical systems, accessories, etc. should all be in working order. If not, the forklift should be tagged out/removed from service, and appropriate repairs should be made prior to operating the forklift.
8. How to operate a forklift on ramps. Some forklifts should not be operated on ramps. Always refer to the appropriate forklift operator manual for instructions on correct ramp operation.
9. How forklift safety is reinforced. Each employer must reinforce safety rules and practices as well as correct unsafe operator behavior.
There is much more to forklift operator safety training than just taking a test. While a test is involved in operator safety training, trainees will also watch formal training videos and participate in hands-on forklift demonstrations and supervised equipment operation. Contact Dillon Toyota Lift to schedule your training class.
Dillon Toyota Lift is the authorized Toyota Forklift dealer in Idaho and Utah, providing solutions to all material handling needs since 1981. We are your full service provider for new and used forklifts, rentals, parts, service, warehousing, racking, and lift truck operator training.
Nampa : (208) 466-8994
Twin Falls : (208) 466-8994
Idaho Falls : (208) 466-8994
Salt Lake : (801) 972-1930
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