Winter Warehouse: Cold Weather Forklift Precautions To Be Aware Of

Forklifts are fairly safe machines. On average, forklifts account for a mere 1% of accidents that happen in warehouses and factories. Competent forklift operators with ample equipment expertise notwithstanding, accidents do happen and danger lurks where it's least expected.

Seasonally, forklift-related warehouse hazards are more common when it's cold outside. What makes the drop in temperature a bit more dangerous than any other season? We know a few reasons and steps you can take to avoid those dangers.

Indoor-Outdoor Use

It's rare to have forklifts operating only in indoor warehouse environments. Generally, that's alright during the other seasons because the terrain isn't very different. During the winter, the addition of snow, ice, and consistently wet and slippery surfaces adds additional dangers that most forklifts aren't meant for working on. Make sure that when you're going inside and outside with your forklifts during the winter that every surface is properly maintained. Even still, an extra bit of caution should be taken in traversing these grounds.

Machinery Deterioration

Colder temperatures notoriously hamper the productivity of machinery. Simply because a cold machine takes longer to warm up and get to running at its operational optimum. Even the most skilled forklift operators fail to think of this and use a barely warmed forklift to do heavy work when it's not ready. This can cause all sorts of inconvenient damage. Forklift repair services and parts replacement are very common when the weather grows colder and the operators don't adapt usage.

Misellaneous Health Hazards

We're prone to avoid letting the cold into the warehouse while working during the winter months. That brings the danger of poor ventilation. When operating forklifts inside your warehouse, be sure to ventilate the area well, especially when using forklifts with combustible fuel emissions. Also, just like machinery slows down in cold temperatures, so do our bodies. We need to remember to give ourselves time to warm up before heavy work and know when to take breaks or call it a day.

When the cold weather hits, work still needs to be done. Human beings and forklifts are doughty and powerful, but nothing is more powerful than changing seasons. Keep your crew and machinery safe this winter by taking these precautions in the warehouse.

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