Work safely

Stay on the ball for safety this summer

Stay on the ball for safety this summer

For many forklift operators, working outdoors on a warm, sunny day can be a very attractive aspect of the job. But don’t let the sunshine and fresh air be a distraction – the yard can be a dangerous place all year round.

To help keep your drivers’ eyes on the ball, our friends at the Fork Lift Truck Association, the UK’s leading authority on forklift truck operations, have shared their own starting Xl: the essential safety tips that every operator should know before tackling outdoor work.

stay-on-the-ball-1.jpg1. Use the right kit.

As a general rule, warehouse equipment isn’t designed to be used outdoors. Before you go outside, check that your truck is OK for yard use.



stay-on-the-ball-2.jpg2. Tidy defence.

A messy yard is a dangerous yard. Simple items like loose planks of wood can tip a lift truck over – crushing or maiming the driver.


stay-on-the-ball-3.jpg3. Pitch inspection.

Make sure the yard surface itself is well maintained. Potholes are another common cause of tipping accidents.



stay-on-the-ball-4.jpg4. Solid at the back.

Before you take a forklift truck into the back of a lorry, check it’s secure and stable – will it take the combined weight of your truck and load?


stay-on-the-ball-5.jpg5. A mountain to climb?

Gradients of any kind can be dangerous to lift trucks – avoid them. If you can’t, go straight up or down, not sideways.



stay-on-the-ball-6.jpg6. Watch your pace!

Crossing open spaces makes it tempting to overdo the throttle – don’t do it, and don’t let your colleagues do it either if you value your safety.


stay-on-the-ball-7.jpg7. Taking corners.

Steer gently! Even at low speeds, a sharp turn can tip your truck over.



stay-on-the-ball-8.jpg8. Zonal marking.

Try to keep forklift trucks, lorries and pedestrians separated with traffic circuits and warning signs.


stay-on-the-ball-9.jpg9. Flashy play?

Flashing lights and warning bleepers can be a good idea – but bear in mind they can also be a distraction.



stay-on-the-ball-10.jpg10. Great vision.

It’s important you can see clearly where you’re going – so if you can’t see forwards, travel in reverse or get a team-mate to act as banksman.


stay-on-the-ball-11.jpg11. Lethal in the box.

If you’re using a diesel or gas powered truck in a confined space like a container, don’t let dangerous fumes build up.



Sub: 12. Don’t score an own goal!

Make sure all your trucks and equipment are properly maintained.


  • Action points
  • Book site survey.
  • Organise risk assessment.
Was this article helpful?
Thanks for your feedback
Real Stuff. Real insights. For the Real Forklift User.