How to improve forklift safety in Rainy or Wet Conditions
June 3, 2022
Undoubtedly, the rainy season is a blessing, but it also comes with a lot of challenges, especially in terms of safety. In an industrial setup, heavy downpours can create difficulties in working and operations of equipment like forklifts. For instance, sudden braking can be troublesome on slick pavement and might be difficult to recognize if there are low lighting conditions in indoor-outdoor settings. So, in these erratic conditions, the employees will not only need to utilize their experience but also require some alertness to prevent the hazards from catching them by surprise. If you are the owner or the safety manager, including the below issues in the training program can be fruitful in dealing with these situations.
➢ Training to deal with poor visibility
Forklifts are also used in outdoor worksites and mostly rely on natural light when skies are darker to get adequate visibility. Changeovers are even more difficult visually beyond the indoor and outdoor entrances. And the signs which indicate speed or direction changes can be harder to notice for the workers, as well as, for the fellow forklift truck drivers. This can increase the chances of collision. The operators should be trained in using forklift camera systems for pedestrian protection and various safety lights to deal with visibility challenges in the low-light areas.
➢ Ensure safety ratings of forklift safety equipment
Every safety management besides apprising about the Forklift safety system and proper training as suggested by OSHA (Occupational Safety Hazard Administration), should also check the IP protection rating of these safety components. If products such as the Forklift camera systemare not IP certified, then it means they cannot be operated safely in the raining conditions.
Similarly, forklift safety lights should have a UL rating that suggests industry compliance. Apart from this, fork trucks with the ‘IPX4’ rating or higher are considered safe to operate in rain. Additionally, an ingress rating of 8 in an electric forklift confirms that it is fully waterproof and can be submerged up to 9 feet in the water. A zero means it has no protection.
➢ Training of reflexes, judgment, and traveling on inclines
During the rainy season, forklift operators might have to work in damp conditions and this can affect their decision-making process in situations, where a quick response is needed. Testing of mental aptitude and appropriate dressing in these conditions should be made compulsory. Likewise, training the operators to keep calm in controlled circumstances such as driving on inclines carrying heavy loads or parking on slopes, can prove to be beneficial in the long run.
➢ Creating situational awareness
At times such as during the rainy season, sudden changes might take place in the integrity of the floor. If a forklift operator is not trained to drive slowly in wet conditions or high-speed driving from dry to wet floor or vice versa, it can result in loss of control. Making stops with the wet tires will always be difficult and increase the chances of the load tilting or falling. Coming from the outside wet conditions creates wet patches and puddles inside and causes the tyre performance to degrade. So, the proper driving technique should be imparted, besides using speed limiters or speed alert systems for extra safety.
➢ Ensuring rain protection of forklifts, operators and staff
Internal combustion forklifts are well-equipped to be used in outdoor settings such as rainy conditions and inclement weather. But the operators also need to get appropriate rain protection during the work. The PVC rain protection can be installed to cover the forklift’s cabin. They can be closed during the rain and rolled up in fine weather.In addition to this, it is imperative to supply personal rain protection to the staff and operators. These protective uniforms may include high visibility rain jackets and pants, non-slip boots and clothes with reflective tape to help stand out or get highlighted during high downpours to prevent accidents.
It’s always annoying to deal with inclement weather in the industries, and your business should be ready to deal with any challenge hurled upon you. With SharpEagle’s forklift safety systems in place, you can navigate easily in rainy conditions. The safety devices from SharpEagle come with a host of features that let you tune up your forklift fleet and make it more intelligent to ensure the complete protection of pedestrians and co-operators.
Besides saving time and money on your business, the safety and the comfort of the operators and the workers in the surrounding area are equally important. For optimizing forklift operator comfort, imparting proper training and investing in quality safety equipment will help them keep focused, irrespective of the inclement weather. Drop an email or call us today for more information.
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