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Safety Tips for Propane Forklift Operators

June 13 is National Forklift Safety Day

Forklift Safety Marquee

Propane forklifts are often called upon to work around the clock to keep businesses across the country on schedule. Because forklifts are often tasked with moving heavy or bulky materials, safe operation is paramount to avoiding costly accidents.

Take time out during National Forklift Safety Day on June 13 and reinforce these simple yet effective safety practices to help keep forklift operators safe.

Wear safety protection. Wear appropriate safety protection as required by OSHA and your employer.

Check the manual. Review the forklift operators’ manuals for manufacturer- or model-specific information before operating the machine. Have the crew reread the manuals on occasion to keep safe operation practices top of mind.

Inspect the cylinders. Thoroughly inspect the forklift’s propane cylinders after removal from a storage cage to ensure good condition. Check cylinders for rusting, dents, and gouges. Use senses of smell, sound, and sight to check for leaks on the cylinder. Check that the pressure relief valve fitting is approximately 180 degrees from the forklift’s locating pin, and is secure.

Close cylinder valves. When a propane forklift is not in use, close all valves on the propane cylinder.

Handle the cylinders safely. Use proper lifting techniques to remove and place propane cylinders on forklifts. Store propane cylinders in a secure storage rack when not in use on a forklift.

Start a checklist. To further reinforce the importance of safety at a facility, use the tips above to create a daily safety checklist and post it in a high-traffic area of the facility where employees will see it often.

Never stop learning. Encourage operators to receive ongoing training by reviewing current forklift operator safety training courses and materials provided by manufacturers, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration, and the American National Standard Institute/Industrial Truck Standards Development Foundation.

Propane forklifts offer a number of benefits to companies by supplying 100 percent power during operation, versatility inside and outside buildings, and cost-effective solutions to materials handling. More information on safety procedures for operating propane forklifts can be found in manufacturers’ manuals and standards such as OSHA 1910.178 and ANSI/ITSDF B56.1-2009. To learn more about the benefits of propane forklifts, visit propane.com/industrial.