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FORKLIFT SAFETY

Much of the equipment in use on construction projects can create dangerous conditions for construction workers. You know that a few of these conditions are present at all times -- any piece of moving equipment should be respected. When working around a forklift keep a sharp lookout -- DON'T DEPEND on the lift operator being able to see you, and DON'T DEPEND on hearing a horn or back-up alarm as surrounding noise may prevent this. When a forklift is traveling backwards, the operator usually cannot see you, SO STAND CLEAR!

As an operator of one of these mobile lifting machines be sure you are familiar with the manufacturer's operating instructions. Prior to starting the equipment give it a quick once over. Check the engine oil level, radiator water level and the fuel level. Look at the tires, check both the parking and service brakes. Check the hydraulic lines for leaks and test the horn. When traveling from point to point never speed. A 'jack rabbit' start or stop may cause an accident. When carrying a load always face the destination of travel and keep a sharp look out for low overhead obstructions. Never allow co-workers to ride on the forks. Never attempt to pick up more than the rated capacity of the machine. Wear the seat belt if one is provided. When picking up a load try to place the forks so the load is square, and make sure the material that you are carrying is -secure and won't fall off during travel. Unless the forklift is designed for off-road use, never take if off the road.

Only trained operators should operate the lift. An untrained operator is a danger to all those working in the area.

As with any other piece of equipment, never smoke during refueling. Avoid working around low electrical lines. Should you ever have a question about a forklift, ask your supervisor. A forklift is a piece of equipment especially designed to help you with your work -- don't let it be a source of an injury -- treat it with respect.

ALWAYS SHUT OFF ALL POWER CONTROLS WHEN LUBRICATING OR PERFORMING ANY MAINTENANCE.

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