07 Machines en gereedschappen
 >  The forklift truck
Discussion > Discuss this with your colleagues!
  • Who is allowed to drive a forklift truck, do you need a diploma for this, even if it is for just a little while, just this once?
  • What do I have to watch out for? What is allowed and what is not allowed?
  • Am I allowed to answer that phone call while I am driving?

At our yards, as well as at our projects, a forklift truck is often used under different conditions, including bad weather, very hot or very cold, slippery conditions, on a poor substrate, etc. It is therefore necessary to determine the type of forklift truck you need and who can and is allowed to drive it. Because, a momentary lapse of attention and smack... Failing to blow your horn when you round the corner and boom... Driving around a rack with forks raised at eye level and bang... Always be well aware of the dangers of driving a forklift truck.

Risks > What can happen?
  • Getting hit
  • Getting run over
  • Colliding with a rack, other objects or vehicles
  • Tipping hazard
  • Getting jammed
  • Being hit by a falling load
When you leave the forklift truck, take the ignition key with you.
Accident involving a forklift truck.
Measures > What you must do

To avoid tipping and jamming hazards:

  • Avoid large height elevations, for example in work floors. Do not drive off these ledges.
  • Avoid inclines that are (too) steep.
  • Never turn around on an incline. Always drive forwards going up an incline. When driving down an incline you must always drive backwards.
  • Close up floor recesses or fence them off properly.
  • Ensure there are no obstacles in your way.

For safe use:

  • Always first read the forklift truck’s user manual, which must be present on the forklift truck.
  • Turn off your phone when you drive the forklift truck OR stop at a safe place if you need to make a call.
  • Always wear a certified safety belt on the forklift truck.
  • Do not drive on wet, slippery floors.
  • Pay attention; employees may be located in the forklift truck’s operating range. Keep eye contact with these employees.
  • Do not lift more than the maximum allowable lifting load; consult the load table affixed to the forklift truck.
  • Check to ensure the load is stable and secured against falling/toppling.
  • After picking immediately allow the load to descend.
  • Ensure that the forks are locked. When fork extensions are used, use the associated load table.
  • Do not allow any passengers to ride along with you.
  • Do not use the forklift truck to lift persons; this is expressly forbidden.
  • Forklift truck operators must have forklift truck training/instruction.
  • Wear the PPE that apply for the relevant yard or at a minimum work with a helmet, safety vest, safety shoes and long pants.
  • Keep eye contact with bystanders, ‘can I see you, can you see me’.
  • People younger than 16 years of age are not allowed to operate a forklift truck, young people between 16 and 18 years of age may only do so under strict supervision.
  • The forklift truck must be inspected at least once a year.
  • Increasing the contra-weight at the rear of the forklift truck is prohibited.
  • Ensure you have sufficient visibility while driving the forklift truck. If the load hinders visibility, you may not drive forwards and instead you must drive in reverse to maintain sufficient visibility.

Parking the forklift truck:

  • Park the forklift truck in a safe place.
  • Never park the forklift truck on an incline.
  • Always park the forklift truck without any load and with lowered forks.
  • When you leave the forklift truck, always remove the ignition key and take it with you.
  • Engage the handbrake on the forklift truck or place wheel chocks.
  • Do not park the forklift truck on escape routes or in front of emergency exits.
Tips > For more information
  • Every accident is one too many. In other words, the 150 serious accidents involving forklift trucks that occur in the Netherlands every year are 150 too many. This means that every 2.5 days there is an accident involving a forklift truck somewhere in our country.
  • The Netherlands National Institute of Public Health and Environmental Protection (RIVM) says that for the 150 serious accidents involving forklift trucks in the Netherlands, an average of 5 persons die every year, 38 persons sustain a permanent injury and 64 persons fortunately fully recover. Details for the remaining 43 persons are unknown.

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