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Weather Check: Maintaining Forklift Safety In Cold Weather

Spring may be just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean Australia is granted immediate respite from the wild weather. People living in the southern states know all about this: you get all excited because you know September is on the way, but you still have to wait a good while to properly enjoy some nice spring weather!

It’s the very same for forklift operators, who have to maintain caution in the face of what can still be some pretty icy weather.

Whether you’re operating Bendi VNA forklifts or any other high quality model, it’s important that Aussie operators follow the right winter safety precautions to ensure the safety of themselves and their colleagues.

Some helpful tips include:

  • Wearing the right clothing

Aussie springs aren’t all the rest of the world thinks they’re cracked up to be. If you live in Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and even beyond, you will be well aware that the weather still throws up a few grim, wet weather days in the lead up to summer.

This means that correct clothing should always be worn, especially the faithful hi-vis jacket, for when those grey days just won’t clear up finally. This, along with warm jackets, pants, and all relative safety equipment (hard-hat, safety shoes etc.) should be worn at all times.

  • Equipment should be thoroughly checked

As a forklift operator, you know how seriously Australia upholds its operational OH&S standards, and the same always goes for forklifts. Safety procedures require that all machines are thoroughly checked before operation, ensuring that no operational faults will cause a hazard during use.

Cold weather can truly affect the machine, including its parts and operational system. Quick temperature drops (something very common in early spring) can cause hoses to crack and decrease tyre pressure. For these reasons, it’s especially important that you check your machine before operation as the cold weather can have a nasty effect on a rig.

  • Check your surroundings

It’s not just the machine itself that needs checking in the colder months of the weather – it’s important than ever to inspect our environmental surroundings. This, of course, means checking for icy, slippery outdoor surfaces, and this can have a shocking effect on a machine’s ability to operate safely.

To operate your forklift safely on colder days, it’s vital to check that the path is clear of any weather hazards. What’s more, you should check for little holes or bumps in the surface that could have been a result of some nasty weather.

  • When operating, be sure to take it slow

This is the time of year to be most cautious when operating the rig, as the above-listed hazards can cause all kinds of strife for operators. It is important to handle and navigate the machinery properly, including slow turns around corners and bends as the combination of sharpness and speed can cause a tippage.

What’s more, it’s important to keep a safe distance from any person or piece of machinery that could be a potential health hazard. This will ensure that any weather-induced risks don’t provide a further risk to yourself and your colleagues.

Early spring doesn’t quite provide that lovely weather we’ve all been craving for what feels like forever. Therefore, it’s important to maintain a high level of precaution when operating the machinery as things can get dangerous very quickly in low light and icy conditions.

Follow the above extra precautions, as well as your regular safety procedures, to safely navigate this machinery in the colder months of the year.

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