It’s that time of year when the weather starts getting worse. Using a forklift outside in the bad winter weather can pose a wider range of risks to your employees’ safety and pedestrians in the area. The harsher weather conditions such as the snow, ice and rain are often ignored, which can lead to more accidents and damaged equipment. We want to look after our customers health and safety, so we have put together several tips to prevents accidents and damage to your forklift truck.

Pre-Winter Checks

Pre-winter checks might not be at the top of your to-do list, but it is essential to perform maintenance and checks to your truck to protect your company from unexpected repair costs and downtime. Conducting these checks each year will reduce your net cost of forklift repairs overtime!

Trucks that are looked after will run more efficiently, increase productivity and will re-sell for more.

Driver Training

It is vital that your employees have the relevant forklift before entering the winter season. Winter hazards such as ice, snow and extreme temperatures can affect the operator’s ability to drive the forklift safely. Driving in such like conditions will require a different skill set and is thus essential that all staff have had thorough training and regular refresher courses to keep your working environment safe.

Grant Handling offer a variety of RTITB accredited courses ranging from those with no previous experience to those that just need a refresher course.

Regular Operator Checks

Throughout the winter season, your forklift drivers should especially make sure that they are conducting their daily/weekly checks that are in the operator’s manual. In the extreme weather conditions, parts of the truck will need to work harder, therefore it is better to conduct checks before driving to ensure the truck isn’t going to break down. Parts you should consider checking involve the battery, the steering, the tyres and the hydraulics.
We would also recommend you allow some time after turning the ignition on, to let the engine and hydraulics warm up properly.

Identifying High Risk Areas

Trips and slips are the largest cause of accidents in the workplace. In the winter season when the weather drops below zero, ice and snow can reduce the level of grip on the floor. Therefore, it is a must to identify the high-risk areas that will be affected by the weather conditions the most, to prevent the chance of accidents. High risk areas typically involve car parks, entrances, slopes, and walkways.

Gritting

Gritting is a cheap, quick, and effective method of preventing ice and snow from forming. Grit contains rock salt which allows it to melt existing snow and ice.

You should check the weather a day in advance so that you can grit high risk areas for accident before the next working day to reduce the chance of trips and falls. The most appropriate time to grit is in the evening before the frosts sets or first thing in the morning before all employees arrive.

Forklift Winter Attachments

Forklift attachments can be effective for clearing areas that have snow and ice on. The extreme weather can affect the efficiency within the workplace and prevent you from going about your daily tasks.

We have a selection of attachments that can be purchased from our shop which will get rid of ice and snow, so that your business operations aren’taffected.

  • Forklift Snow Plows
  • Forklift Brooms and Brushes

Safety Lights

Be sure to check all the lights are working on your forklift as it gets dark earlier which can reduce visibility.

Anti-Freeze

Anti-freeze is a vital tool for the winter season as it protects all the components of your forklift and prevents rust and corrosion.