Work Place Health

Forklift Hazards You Need to Know

Forklift Hazards You Need to Know
Written by Nancy

Before hiring a fork lift operator or assigning someone to the task, make sure the person has required skills and necessary experience to perform the task.

Even though operating a fork lift is not drastically different from driving a car, but one small mistake can cause a huge accident on a construction site. Not to mention, the Canadian law binds workers to be professionally trained for the job before operating a fork lift. There’s a reason why proper training is made a prerequisite.

Here are a few fork lift hazards that can risk the safety of on-site workers.

  • Attachments
  • Pedestrians
  • Work Site


Carton clamps, paper-roll clamps, rotators, pulleys and drum clamps are all different kinds of attachments that can impact the function of a fork lift.

The length and width of the fork lift can be extended by the attachments. They can also add more weight to the lift by changing the capacity to accommodate attachments.

Attachments also work with the center of gravity and can also affect the stability. For instance, the maximum load that the lift can carry will vary if the load moves away from the vertical front of the forks.


Most cases of fork lift hazards target on-site pedestrians who become collateral damage during malfunctioning of the lift.

fork lift hazards

The accident can occur if a load is obstruction clear sight of the operator who can unintentionally hit a pedestrian. Often times the fork lift may run over or hurt a pedestrian who’s standing close by or directly in front.

Speeding is as dangerous for operating forklifts as it is while driving. An over speeding fork lift cannot be stopped in time even if a pedestrian is spotted in the way. Make sure to stay within the limit while operating a fork lift.

Carelessness such as transporting passengers on the lift can also lead to disastrous accidents. Pedestrians should consciously stay away from a fork lift and the operator should be mindful of these risks.

Work Site

The environment where the fork lift is operated can also contribute toward unforeseen accidents.

Carbon dioxide or carbon monoxide can build up if the fork lift is fuel-operated. Combustion can cause dangerous accidents in a poorly ventilated work environment.

Running lifts on ramps is also risky because it increases chances of accident. Driving a fork lift over a rail road can impact the balance of the machine. Similarly operating on slippery grounds can also heighten the chances of landing in an accident.

Looking for ways to ward off fork lift accidents?

Metro Safety offers first-aid training programs which help teach an important life skill for handling workplace emergencies. They are currently offering first aid training courses and work place safety tools and have been serving the community since 2008.

Their office is located in Coquitlam BC, which is close to the Braid Street Sky Train. They also cater to Vancouver and Burnaby in British Columbia.

If you’re interested in training for a safer tomorrow, sign up with them ASAP.

About the author



I’m Nancy and no, I didn’t always look like I do in that picture on the right. My foray into health and fitness began as a brace-faced, 16 year-old who was too afraid to wear a two-piece at the beach because I felt my body paled in comparison to my much more toned friends.

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