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Forklift Safety Day Shines the Spotlight on a Year-Round Focus for Material Handling Professionals—Safety

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Industrial distribution industry, propane industry share same passion for safety

By Jeremy Wishart

A safe workplace is something to take pride in, and something to celebrate.

National Forklift Safety Day (celebrated June 11) gives employees a chance to do just that. Plus, it’s an opportunity to highlight the importance of operator training, equipment checks, and other best practices.

Forklifts are extremely useful if used safely and appropriately by operators. In order to keep employees safe and, ultimately, keep material moving, proper safety measures must be maintained.

Here are five important forklift safety reminders that facility managers should reinforce with their forklift operators on National Forklift Safety Day:

  • Always wear a seatbelt while operating a forklift.
  • Stop the forklift before raising or lowering forks.
  • Maintain a safe distance from the edge of ramps.
  • Slow down and sound the horn when approaching areas where visibility is blocked.
  • Lower the forks and set the controls to neutral when finished with the job.

Warehouse managers have a lot to take into consideration when choosing the best equipment — and fuel — for their facility’s material handling operations. When it comes to choosing a fuel for forklift fleets, many managers are opting for propane over gas or diesel.

Propane-powered forklifts are called upon in a variety of material handling operations to keep business on schedule and work around the clock. Not to mention, propane can be the safest fuel of any to power a forklift fleet.

The propane industry, as a whole, has dedicated procedures to support forklift operators’ safety. That commitment to maintaining safe workplaces for their forklift customers is yet another reason it’s a preferred fuel among material handling professionals. Plus, facilities that are already using propane forklifts have a safety resource at their fingertips: their local propane supplier.

For facilities currently operating propane-powered forklifts, or looking to operate propane forklifts in the future, here are a few propane-specific forklift safety reminders managers can share with crews on National Forklift Safety Day:

  • Inspect propane cylinders prior to operation.
  • Properly store propane cylinders in a secure rack or cage.
  • Close service valves on cylinders when not in use.
  • Ensure the pressure-relief valve on the propane cylinder is secure and points away from the locating pin.

Regardless of fuel source, it’s important for facility managers and forklift operators to regularly review forklift safety procedures. By keeping these safety tips top of mind and not letting safety take a back seat to productivity, employees can raise the standard in their workplace for safe, smooth operation.

For more information on propane forklift safety, visit Propane.com/SafetyFirst.

Jeremy Wishart is director of off-road business development for the Propane Education & Research Council. He can be reached at jeremy.wishart@propane.com.

Contributed by the Propane Education & Research Council