FORKLIFT safety is an important part of overall warehouse and site safety. To ensure a safe working environment, the importance of regular lift truck audits cannot be reiterated enough.
That’s according to Mike Keats, Director at Goscor Lift Truck Company (GLTC), who added that warehouses and other forklift environments should be places where operators, pedestrians and managers feel safe and secure.
“Regular lift truck audits are imperative, firstly from a health and safety perspective, and secondly, from a performance standpoint,” he said.
“Remember lift trucks engage in rigorous activities daily and it is vital to ensure that operators and pedestrians are kept safe at all times. National and global standards have to be met and aligned with at all times. Therefore, end users should audit their MHE suppliers to ensure that the equipment is in a safe working order and free of defects.”
Keats said audits should address several safety aspects on all working parts, specifically lifting mechanisms, as well as all other equipment componentry such as brakes and engines, among others.
“Equipment audits ensure a safe working environment, more productive equipment and operators, as well as product longevity. A well-maintained machine will last far longer than the one not maintained properly.” Keats added that maintenance contracts are encouraged so that the supplier will take the lead in an effective maintenance regime.
Several parties are involved in equipment audits. “Customers, load test companies, ISO and OHSA auditing firms can all be involved in the audits. Operators should audit MHE daily and specialists from the lift truck companies should also do so on a regular basis. Technicians also get to audit and check the equipment at service intervals,” he said.
At Goscor, the FMX Fleet Management System with interactive display ensures that operators cannot start their equipment without completing a full maintenance checklist. The system also provide real time feedback and control on various equipment components, including engines, tyres and load.
GLTC plays an active role in its customers’ equipment audits. “We regularly audit all equipment on all sites, through our technicians during service intervals, which are typically done at regular intervals. We also do audits via our product support and technical teams which conduct regular site visits to all major clients.”
Keats said audits should be seen as partnerships between the customer and the MHE provider.