Safer Forklift Operation in the Winter Months
Safety is paramount no matter what time of year it is however, throughout the winter months the weather can make things a little more tricky and so extra care should be taken.
During winter, the weather can bring ice, snow, strong winds and heavy rain all adding to the risks of using and operating a forklift. It’s not only the operators that are more at risk but those that work around forklifts too.
As an employer it is vital that health and safety measures and regulations are followed to the letter to prevent the risk of any workplace accidents and as an employer you have a duty of care to ensure the safety of those who work on your premises.
There are a few points that you can follow to decrease the risks in the workplace, these are as follows;
Increase Staff Visibility: The darker days and shorter daylight hours of the winter months will mean that there if your staff are working outdoors then they will most likely be working in lesser well-lit conditions. If this is the case then the risks of accidents in significantly increased and therefore all workers should be issued with high-vis vests and clothing to ensure that they are more visible to forklift operators.
Supplying staff with additional safety lights, floodlighting if possible and putting up reflective signage will also be beneficial when staff are moving around the workplace.
Protect Staff from Cold Stress: When the skin temperature gets too low, then there is a medical term known as ‘cold stress’ that means that the body in no longer able to regulate its normal temperature. Should cold stress be left untreated this can lead to other serious health problems such as frostbite and hypothermia.
Ensure staff have all the necessary clothing to stay warm and comfortable such as insulated and water-resistant gloves, good quality boots and socks as well as lots of protective clothing both insulative and water-resistant will encourage good working practices and that staff are well looked after and are able to do their job well and safely.
Ensure the workplace is safe in bad weather: Tasks are much more hazardous in bad weather and operating a forklift safely can be made much more difficult in bad weather. Even the simplest of jobs can be more difficult to carry out and therefore ensuring the workplace is free from ice, is vital. Lay down grit and prevent ice forming is the safest way to keep loading bays, car parks and roads as safe as possible. Should there be snow, ensure that this is cleared prior to commencing any work. There are attachments available to buy to turn a forklift into a snow plough.
Winter can put additional stress on forklifts themselves so ensure all tyres are winter ready and that all necessary checks are carried out prior to staff operating the machinery.
When staff and employees are adequately trained, this also assists in the safe operation of a workplace. If your staff require refresher or novice forklift training then don’t hesitate to get in touch as Forklift Agency can help. We provide health and safety approved training at a time and place to suit you and we don’t charge traveling costs. Call the team now to find out more on 0330 330 9495 or complete the form below and we’ll be in touch as soon as we can.
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