Forklift operators may often be tasked with refueling or charging the batteries of the forklifts that they are operating. Prospective forklift operators are therefore prepared to perform this task in a safe way. This article discusses some tips that can help inexperienced forklift operators to refuel or charge the batteries of forklifts properly.
Find the Eyewash Station
Refueling or charging locations usually have an eyewash station that personnel can access quickly in case those individuals are exposed to any harmful substances during the refueling or charging process. It is imperative that you identify where this eyewash station is located so that you will know where to go when the need arises. Prior knowledge of this location will enable you to save precious seconds when an accident occurs as you refuel or charge forklift batteries.
Check the Ventilation
Fuel fumes may be given off as you refuel the fossil-fuel powered forklift. The batteries of electric forklifts can also give off some fumes as they are being charged. Ventilation is therefore important for all refueling or charging facilities. Make sure that all windows are open before you start charging or refueling. Turn the ceiling fan on if one is available. This ventilation will allow any hazardous fumes to dissipate before they reach harmful levels within the charging or refueling facility.
Get a Barrier
It is also important for you to take steps to protect the charger or the pump from mechanical damage during the charging or refueling period. For example, the forklift can move accidentally and damage an exposed pump. This can trigger an explosion in case sparks are produced during that accident. Place a barrier between the forklift and the refueling or charging system to avoid such accidents.
Keep Flames and Smoke Away
You should never smoke or allow any flame within the refueling or charging facility while you are there. This is because the flammable fumes within the facility may ignite when they get in contact with that smoke or flame. It is also a good idea to confirm that a fire extinguisher is within reach in case a fire emergency occurs.
Charging or refueling is just a tiny fraction of what may be expected of a forklift operator. Enroll for forklift operator training at facilities like the Advanced Heavy Vehicle Training Centre so that you can be equipped with all the skills and knowledge that you will need as you execute your daily tasks as a forklift operator. That training will help you to stay safe in spite of the numerous hazards that forklift operators face as they perform their work.