Working Safely with Forklift Attachments

Using forklifts in your warehouse can be of the utmost value. Not only do these machines make it easier to move products, but they also speed up productivity and reduce physical injury risks to your workers.

Unfortunately, though, when forklift drivers are not familiar with using forklift attachments, safety gets pushed to the backburner and your workers are more likely to become injured. Not only is there a greater risk of injury to your workers, but when not used properly, forklift attachments can cause damage to your products as well.

Let’s take a look at using forklift attachments the correct way, including the tasks they can be used for.

Understanding Forklift Attachments

Generally, forklifts have two tynes connected to them, both of which move vertically. These tynes are used to carry pallets or loads from point A to point B. The tynes use hydraulic and non-hydraulic attachments that can be used to make a forklift even more versatile. The primary benefit of these attachments is that they ease the loading process and decrease the amount of time it takes to move a load. These attachments also help:

  • Reduce manpower
  • Decrease the number of hours it takes to operate a forklift
  • Decrease risk of damaging goods being moved
  • Reduce fuel consumption
  • Reduce risk of injury to forklift driver and other workers

The benefit of forklift attachments is that they  ease the loading process and decrease the amount of time it takes to move a load

One of the main things to remember when using forklift attachments is that they will reduce the load capacity, meaning the center of gravity will be impacted. Because of this, the load being carried will be less stable than it would have been it no attachment had been used; this means a forklift driver should always drive the machine as if it is already partially loaded before he picks up a load with an attachment.

Since there is an attachment on the forklift, the weight will be added to the front of the fulcrum point, which, essentially, changes everything. Experienced forklift drivers are needed to drive machines that have attachments connected to them.

Driving Tips for Forklifts with Attachments

Any time a driver is becoming familiar with driving a forklift with an attachment, it is crucial that start out by driving slow. All turns should be made gently and slowly. The forklift’s data plate will tell the truck’s capacity in regards to the attachment that is being used.

If an attachment is being connected to the forklift that a driver has never used before, it is the employer’s responsibility to make sure proper training is given, including how to use the attachment and how to connect and disconnect it from the forklift; this will include showing how to attach the attachment using the proper locking device.

3 Things to Remember When Using Forklift Attachments

There are three key factors to making sure a driver is properly using a forklift attachment.

  1. The driver needs to make sure the attachment being used is compatible with all types of loads he intends to lift and carry.
  2. The proper locking device must be used.
  3. If a forklift’s data plate states a certain type of attachment should not be used, then this suggestion should never be avoided. Simply, if it says don’t use a certain type of attachment, then don’t.

The Takeaway

Whether you are an OHS manager, production manager, or logistics manager, making sure your workers know how to work with forklift attachments is essential in boosting safety and productivity.

If you are looking for a product that enhances forklift attachment safety, check out our GenieGrips, which are designed specifically to address forklift load shift and provide safe, secure and protected product movement.

Also, when providing training to workers for working with forklift attachments, it is imperative that this training is carried out by licensed forklift drivers who have experience in working with the same types of attachments the workers will be using.

By providing workers with adequate training, this helps ensure they understand a forklift’s normal load capacities as well as its capabilities once the attachments have been installed. Furthermore, if different types of forklifts are going to be used, then separate training for each type machine will be needed. Speak to any of our team if you have any questions.