Prepare for the Winter Months
Operating a forklift truck outside over the winter months poses a number of risks not only to the safety of your operators and any on-coming pedestrians, but also the truck and your products. Factor in the harsh weather conditions, particularly snow and ice, and those risks increase ten-fold. These factors are often overlooked, leaving companies open to potential accidents and problems with their equipment.
This safety guide has been designed to help keep you and your equipment safe throughout those winter months. Combined with a bit of due care and diligence, you will significantly lower the risk of any accident occurring during winter – Download this handy guide below!
You may not have a calendar reminder for this but conducting pre-season check/maintenance on your forklift truck is imperative to protect your operation from unexpected repair bills, downtime and cold-weather related headaches. By getting operators to regularly check their forklifts is one thing, but it’s vital to organise a through forklift winter check which is carried out by a professional.
Ensure the risks posed by extreme weather conditions are kept to a minimum, by booking a Thorough 10-Point Winter Service with Impact – Click here for details
Are your staff properly trained?
It’s safe to say anyone who has not been trained on a forklift truck, should not be operating one – especially in winter as it requires a different skillset as there are different hazards to be aware of. It’s, therefore, important that all staff partake in thorough training and regular refreshers to ensure a safe working environment.
If you require any training, Impact offer RTIB accredited Forklift Operator Driver Training courses for all abilities. Training can be conducted on your premises or at our dedicated central training facility. Please contact our team on 0800 169 9789 for more information
Extreme weather, particularly snow and ice, often result in key operating components of your forklift taking a beating. At the start of every day, it’s essential to perform thorough checks to determine whether the forklift is in complete working order. Afterall, it’s better to spot the issue early on before the truck breaks down.
It is recommended that you follow the daily/weekly checks outlined in the operator’s manual, which will have been given to you upon purchase. All aspects of the forklift truck should be checked including the battery, tyres, screens, lights, hydraulics, attachments and steering.
Whilst you’re conducting your daily checks;
- Allow yourself an extra few minutes to properly warm up the engine and hydraulics before you start your days’ work.
- Run the machine idle for a minute with no load, before operating each hydraulic function to help allow the oil to circulate.
** After operation make sure to thoroughly clean the forklift of any grime it has accumulated during its shift. Grit, salt, snow and dirt have a knack of getting under every nook and cranny! **
29% of accidents within the work place are from slipping and tripping, making it the single most common cause of major injury in UK workplaces. Add in ice, frost or snow, and that risk increases significantly. To reduce the risk of slips occurring, you will need to identify which areas are most likely to be affected by the weather. Building entrances, car parks, pedestrian walkways, sloped areas and areas constantly in the shade or wet are to name but a few.
- Remove any snow, ice or other hazards that could impede the safe operation of your equipment
- Cover walkways or use an insulating material on smaller areas overnight
- Divert pedestrians to less slippery walkways and barrier off unsafe areas using cones or signs
Gritting is the most common method used to de-ice floors. Relatively cheap to obtain, quick to apply and easy to spread, rock salt can stop ice forming and causes existing ice or snow to melt.
Gritting should be carried out when walkways are likely to be damp or wet and temperatures are below, freezing. The best times are early in the evening before the frost settles or early in the morning before staff arrive. Remember to allow enough time for the salt to dissolve into the moisture on the floor. Also, keep an eye on the weeks forecast by downloading the BBC or Met Office weather app.
Rock Salt is a common way to clear icy roads. It works by applying a layer of salt, which lowers the freezing temperature of water and melts the ice.
The festive freeze also brings with it, bigger issues which can have devastating effects on the day to day running of your business. It’s, therefore, vital you are fully equipped to deal with anything the weather throws at you!
We have a range of Forklift Winter Essentials in stock to keep you up and running:
- The Fork Mounted Sweeper
- Forklift Snow Plough
- Winter Wizard
- The Mini Gritter
- Snow Shovel forklift Attachment
- Winter Tyre Chains
- Forklift Snow Sock
As the nights are draw closer, so does the change in temperature, therefore it’s imperative your staff are protected from the harsh conditions. Operating a forklift truck outside in Winter months demands extra clothing such as gloves, sturdy boots, and warm hats on top of everyday safety gear.
Reflective clothing can also make you easily visible to others workings around you – making a collision or accident occurring less likely between you and a fellow worker. Also, it is an employer’s responsibility to provide workers, without charge, any items suitable for persons working outdoors in snow, sleet or hail and low temperatures. So, make sure you get what you need.
Your Essential Winter Warmer Kit
We have a range of Official Cat® Winter merchandise available in store at a discounted rate to get you through the Winter!
Order by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Quoting – Winterwarmer19
*Offer ends 31 December 2019/while stocks last *Excludes delivery.