Why Overloading Forklifts Is More Dangerous Than You May Think

Many businesses rely heavily on the use of forklifts as part of their day-to-day operations, being a staple part of processes. Although they are great for their versatility and weight-bearing capabilities, there are a range of associated hazards that have been stated by OSHA. If a business chooses to use forklifts on-site, they must be aware of the dangers and are using them correctly, only allowing trained personnel access to the machinery. Even if the site has been perfectly adjusted to provide plenty of workplace safety products and Bollard Post Covers to draw attention to obstacles, this does not eradicate the hazard of overloading the forklifts.

Here is why overloading has more dangers than you may be aware of:

  • It poses a risk to the machine itself since loading the forklift with more goods than it is designed to hold can cause it to break down or incur damages. The additional weight puts strain on the engine, transmission, and forks, creating potentially expensive repairs that will cost the business a large sum to resolve.
  • With more weight than it is designed to carry, the forklift is at risk of overturning or losing control of steering. Whether the outcome sees the forklift end up on its side, the load falls off, or the machine veers off its route, the potential hazards are not worth the risk.
  • As well as risking the condition of the forklift itself, those around it are also at serious risk if the machinery is not used correctly. Overloading can cause large-scale problems, ranging from shifted loads falling off the forks in transit to the vehicle itself overturning into walkways. With both the operator and surrounding workers at risk of severe injury or even death, a business needs to take the regulations incredibly seriously.

To avoid these risks, a forklift should always be used according to manufacturer guidelines as these will differ from model to model. The weight limit is put in place for reasons based on thorough research and testing, allowing the machine to safely maneuver the goods. As well as following the weight limit guidelines, it is important to make sure that the load is properly secured to the forklift before putting the vehicle into motion. Some employees may find it tempting to cut corners if they are under time pressure or are only moving a small distance, but this should be avoided at all costs and the load should always be restrained with straps or chains.

To ensure everyone within an organization is working to the same standard, sufficient training should be carried out regularly. Providing both induction training for new workers as well as ongoing refreshers for existing workers, everyone who is permitted to use the forklifts should be properly trained and certified to do so. It is the responsibility of the business owner to ensure health and safety standards are met, risking significant consequences if industry regulations are not followed.

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