Forklift Capacity Calculator

Very recently, a beverage distributor in Hondo, Texas was fined by OSHA over $52,000 for failure to perform forklift training to the company's workers. These types of fines occur not only when businesses fail to meet OSHA's training requirements for forklift safety and operations, but also when there are violations in forklift safety or other health and safety related issues.

Forklifts are a part of normal warehouse and plant operations across the world. These machines greatly improve productivity for logistics, inventory, and order processing. The forklift's ability to move large amounts of products and heavy loads make it a true modern day work horse for the product manufacturing and distribution business.

However, forklifts can certainly be a safety hazard. Incorrect forklift safety operations and procedures can result in many types of injuries to persons, products, and structures:

Damage to shelving or storage structures

Structural beams or walls could be damaged, making the building itself unsafe

Product destruction

Employee injuries from being hit by a forklift, falling materials, or damaged work area

Health hazards from operating gas-powered lifts in confined areas

Forklift battery hazard, due to high voltage or acid leaks and improper maintenance

North Carolina State University published some basic forklift training guidelines as part of their education program. Some of the items covered in forklift training include:

Only operate a forklift if you have completed authorized training

Adhere to forklift speed limits in all areas

Make sure your load is below your maximum capacity to carry

Properly use the horn at intersections or when backing up

Do not make sharp turns

Always wear protective equipment while operating a lift

Before exiting the forklift, make sure the machine is secured, brakes applied, and properly shut down

Additionally, Multi Channel Merchant has some forklift safety advice, including:

Always adhere to OSHA regulations, and review the regulations on a routine schedule, to make sure your operations are kept up-to-date

Forklifts may have rear-steering, which can be confusing to operate for untrained users

Forklifts can tip more easily than a vehicle, so additional precautions should be taken to avoid tipping

Utilize seat belts, hard hats and other security measures when operating a forklift

Different lifts can require different types of specialized training - check with the forklift provider for equipment-specific guidelines

Every company's operations are different - whether the business is food distribution, automotive products, or medical supplies, there can be many factors that affect forklift safety. Having procedures established and in writing is a start, and then all warehouse and plant managers should be fully versed in both forklift operations, and the company-specific procedures.

The procedures should be reviewed at least annually, but potentially more often, if OSHA guidelines change or significant changes to the warehouse or business occur.

When exploring your forklift equipment options, consider the type of lift and the attachments, along with the capacity rating. This can greatly affect the level of safety of the lift. For help with calculating lift capacity, check for more information and tools.

Professional Forklift Engineering Services

Forklifts are very versatile machines. They are designed to lift heavy items of all types safely, without injury to the item or to the operator. Lift trucks can handle items such as truck engines, cement barriers, pipes and tubing.

Forklift Manufacturers

Materials handling and logistics are the unsung heroes of modern business. Through the process of transporting products from raw materials to finished goods, businesses succeed or fail because of their internal logistics.