Top 10 fork safety tips

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  • Plant & Equipment

Forklift attachment manufacturer Cascade has compiled its Top 10 fork tips as part of a drive to promote safety that also includes the provision of a free Fork Safety Kit consisting of a Fork Safety Guide and Fork Wear Calipers.

Top 10 fork safety tips
The Cascade Fork Safety Kit aims to help operators stay safe and increase fork life.

"One of the keys to safe lift truck operations begins with inspecting your forks for wear and damage," the company says. "Forks will last a long time if treated properly, but since they can look as good when they are worn as when they are new, it’s critical to know how to inspect them to determine if they are safe."

The calipers can be used to check blade thickness, fork heel angle, fork hooks and shaft/pin forks. The 24-page Safety Guide takes you through the use of the calipers, plus gives advice on using your forks correctly and inspecting them for damage such as surface cracks and blade wear,

These, then, are Cascade’s top tips for fork use:

  1. Do not overload forks by picking up a load too far out on the forks or by picking up loads heavier than the truck rating.
  2. Do not allow maintenance shops to bend forks back into shape, weld on them or drill holes through them.
  3. Avoid adding attachments to the truck that stress the forks.
  4. Do not use forks to open goods wagon doors or to break loads out/away from other loads.
  5. Though drum clamps and portable booms can be supported on the forks, be aware of what is contained in the drum or on the boom hook.
  6. Forks should not be used to pick up capacity loads not seated against the fork shank or to pick up off-balanced loads far from the side of the forklift truck.
  7. Avoid inserting the fork tips under other forklift trucks to lift them during maintenance operations.
  8. If a collision with building columns or walls occurs, even if the forks show no discernible bend, check to ensure they have not been damaged beyond the safety guidelines.
  9. Do not apply excessive heat to any part of a fork (during repair, for instance).
  10. Remember to also inspect the hooks that secure the forks to the lift carriage.

Australian forklift operators can obtain a Fork Safety Kit by calling Cascade on 1800 227 223.

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