Crane Institute of America

Forklift Needs a Lift

forklift lift“We have always done it that way, and have never had a problem.”

Have you ever heard that excuse? Have you ever used that excuse yourself?

Like all unsafe shortcuts, others may look the other way or even applaud your resourcefulness if the job goes well. However, as soon as your resourcefulness turns to disaster, all fingers point toward you.

A forklift is a lever where the counterweight must be greater than the load when the load’s center of gravity (CG) is at the “Load Center on the Forks.” Load center is measured from the fork-face 24, 36, 48 inches, etc. toward the fork tips. Forklift loads must be within the rated capacity and their CG must be over the load center.

Material handling equipment has safeguards built in their design. Just because equipment, like the forklifts in the video, have always been used improperly, it doesn’t rule out the possibility of an accident. One day conditions may change, causing a problem with this seemingly, well-orchestrated job, and a fatal accident can occur. The larger forklift could tip forward because the CG of the smaller forklift plus the weight of the box are beyond its load center. Also, the weight of the smaller forklift may be imposed on its steering mechanism which could damage it.

An average of 40 thousand serious forklift injuries and fatalities occur each year. Don’t be convinced to use a forklift improperly due to the right equipment being unavailable, deadlines needing to be met, or using the excuse that its always been done that way. To be convinced of anything short of properly using a forklift, is to sacrifice the safety of everyone on the job.

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Crane Institute of America can teach you how to properly operate a forklift in our Forklift Operator & Inspector training program.

One thought on “Forklift Needs a Lift

  1. Charles P

    I actually witnessed this being done while I was teaching a Forklift Certification Class in Houston TX. The place across the street was using a 12K forklift to put a 5K forklift into the back of a truck. I have seen and done a lot of things with a forklift but never would have imagined this one.

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