Commercial workplaces are marred by all sorts of hazards and situations that can injure employees and visitors. This has led to the emergence of regulatory organisations and oversight commissions in government labour departments throughout the world. Their aim is to establish codes and regulations that will direct the activities undertaken in commercial workplaces. A good example is the operation of a forklift, a machine that has found widespread application retail business warehousing. Regulations exist to govern the operation of this machine in commercial settings so that there is limited risk of workplace injuries and accidents. For all first-time forklift operators, here are some regulatory guidelines you might come across:
Travel Speed Limitations
When referring to forklifts, travel generally refers to the machine's movement from one point to another. Travel is the first element of risk, considering that many accidents can happen when the machine is moving. There are many travel limitations and some will be specific to the nature of your workplace. First, regulatory guidelines can restrict the speed at which the machine can travel relative to the height of the platform. For example, if the platform is raised below thirty-five inches, then the machine can go well over four kilometres per hour. If the platform falls between thirty-five and two hundred inches, then the machine should travel at a speed lower than 4Kmph. A platform height exceeding two hundred inches means that the machine should not travel at all.
Travel Speed Exceptions
These are cases where you are allowed to propel the machine beyond the set speed limits. The installation set up of the fork lift must, however, meet some conditions for the guidelines to allow you to travel at exceptional speeds. For instance, if the platform height exceeds a pre-determined set limit of two hundred inches, then the machine can only travel if its movement is guided by rails. Wire or electronic guarding is another element that can warrant an exemption from travel limitation.
Regulatory guidelines also recommend additional equipment needed for the safe operation of a forklift during certain activities. For instance, all stock picking activities may have to be done under rail guarding with functional height warning lights to prevent imminent accidents.
Note that you will have to observe all these guidelines in the course and scope of your work. For employers who don't pay much attention to workplace safety, make sure that you bring all these provisions to their attention. Do it to avoid falling prey to accusations of negligence in case of an accident.