Categories: Home Improvement

Pre-Hire Telehandler Inspection

Inadequate pre-use inspections highlight a huge safety risk in many forklift operations. Each forklift truck operation, should begin with a pre-use inspection. However, these checks are sometimes carried out incorrectly.

Compared to efficiency or practical driving skills, pre-use inspection is the area in which drivers are performing most poorly. In order to improve safety and reduce risk, employers must deliver training that ensures their operators are skilled and competent enough to inspect the equipment. Supervisors should always ensure that pre-use inspections are taking place, and also to highlight the importance of them in everyday operations.

Despite the age and quality of the equipment, and even if it has been checked by another operator that day, operators should never be under the assumption that a forklift truck is ready to operate safely. Having a pre-use inspection helps a company to highlight any mechanical faults or potential issues. Each part of the inspection is vital to the safety of the operator and the operation itself.

At a recent fork lift safety conference, it was discussed that damage or wear can occur at any time during use, this could result in making the machinery unsafe to operate.

UK Health and Safety Executive statistics, show that a high percentage of occurring incidents could have been avoided with pre-use inspections that were conducted correctly.

Being a forklift operator is a skilled job which requires specific training. In some cases, an incident may be down to human error which is why the specific training is required. People need to remember appearance isn’t everything, just because a machine looks safe it doesn’t necessarily mean it is.

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When carrying out a pre-use checklist always ensure to check for the following things:

  • Check any faults from the previous day
  • Look out for any obvious leaks
  • Check the hydraulic fluid levels
  • Observe the chains and fixing bolts
  • Check the steering
  • Look at the bodywork
  • Coolant level
  • Warning lights
  • Alarms

Pre-use inspections exist to identify the small problems and stop them becoming bigger problems. Your forklift drivers need to know that they are not expected to be forklift truck engineers, so just simply checking the general working parts of the machine for signs of damage or general wear and tear. Any potential issues identified can be dealt with by an expert, it also helps prevents trucks from becoming unsafe.

Regardless of whether a lift truck has been checked by another operator that same day, a pre-use inspection still needs to be carried out when the next driver wants to use it. This is highly advised as something may have happened to the truck causing a malfunction making it unsafe to use. Operators should be aware that it is their responsibility to carry out these checks.

There are several benefits of having pre-use inspections, however, the main reason these checks are carried out is to help prevent incidents and injuries. To improve safety and reduce risk, employers should take steps to ensure that inspections are not overlooked. Machine operators must be trained to the highest standard and competent enough in inspecting the equipment. Remember your safety is paramount to us.

Frank Aitken

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