How to operate a forklift safely in accordance with regulatory standards?
How to operate a forklift safely in accordance with regulatory standards
Apparently a forklift looks like an easy vehicle to be used, however, not everything that appears to be really is.
These machines were developed to help the logistics sector, being able to carry tons of products and materials without great human effort. In addition to loading, they also perform the function of stacking and unstacking goods.
Despite becoming more common in recent years, forklifts are still expensive tools, also having a high maintenance cost for companies.
In addition to being a very present subject within corporate environments, the mention of forklifts is also made in Regulatory Norms, as we will see below.
The regulatory norm nº 11, deals with the transport, movement, storage and handling of materials. It accurately describes the procedures for the correct use of forklifts.
Likewise, the regulatory norm No. 12, which deals with measures for the safe driving of machines such as forklifts.
The workers responsible for handling the forklifts must be trained, both for their own safety and for the safety of others around them.
Following the requirements listed in the regulatory standards preserves the integrity of the employees and the company as a whole.
According to NR 11 and NR 12, the handling of forklifts must follow some protocols, let’s see:
- The operator must receive exclusive training, given by the employer, to exercise his function with forklifts;
- Training must be provided by workers or professionals qualified for this purpose;
- Refresher training must always take place when there is any change in the role to be performed or in the machinery that the employer uses;
- The operator must always be aware of the machine conditions, always checking if everything is working perfectly;
- All machines must have manuals provided by the manufacturer or importer, containing information regarding safety at all stages of use;
- Every operator must receive a nameplate;
- Forklifts must have an audible warning signal (horn);
- Machines must be frequently overhauled in order to keep them working in perfect condition;
- The weight of the stored material cannot exceed the load capacity calculated for the factory floor;
- The stored material must be disposed of preventing obstruction of doors, fire equipment, emergency exits, etc.;
- The operator must be directed to obey all safety signs and warnings;
- The operator must respect the traffic rules of the machines within the establishment where they exercise their function;
- The training of forklift operators must last at least 20 hours, with the application of theoretical and practical classes – a sufficient period to qualify an employer to operate the machine.
- Remember that both men and women can handle forklifts, as long as they are qualified in light of the requirements described above.
It can also be said that there is no pre-set number of hours for the forklift operator to work. The usual shift of eight hours a day is the most common within companies, noting that anything that goes beyond this is worth overtime, and the operator must be overpaid.
Prevention is always better than cure. NRs 11 and 12 define that it is the employer’s obligation to take measures for the protected use of machinery and equipment. These measures focus on training the forklift operator, preventing him from getting involved in accidents.
These regulatory standards have the main objective of guaranteeing the safety of workers within companies, in addition, they guarantee good visibility to organizations that fit into it, making it legally correct.
In this way, keeping your qualified employee, well trained to operate the machines safely, can significantly reduce expenses and ensure assertive risk management. Despite this, not thinking about effective risk management is neglecting the health and safety of employees and running the risk of paying huge fines, as well as losing reliability in the increasingly competitive market.
It is possible to see that investing in occupational safety is essential to ensure stability, growth and profit for organizations. That’s why it’s worth it to have a consultancy for the proper application of the law in your business.
AmbLegis has all the necessary support your company needs to comply with any type of labor legislation. So, if your company wants to have a better management of legal requirements, count on AmbLegis. Learn more about Legal Requirements Management Software and schedule a demo just for your business.