Handling Forklift Tipovers Safely

Jun 01 2024 | 2 Min. Read Safety Accidents
When it comes to operating powered industrial trucks, safety should always be a top priority. One of the critical aspects of staying safe on the job is knowing how to handle tipovers.

In Case of Tipover: What Should You Do?

Operating a powered industrial truck, like a forklift or hi-lo, requires not only skill but also the ability to anticipate potential hazards like tipovers. Knowing how to prevent and handle tipovers is crucial for maintaining safety. OSHA provides valuable guidance on this topic, including ways to prevent tipovers and what to do if one occurs.

Getting Ready to Drive Safely

Before you even start the engine, fasten your seatbelt. This simple step can make a big difference in the event of a tipover. Remember, never jump from a truck, whether it's moving or not. Staying within the truck with your feet on the ground and hands on the steering wheel is essential for your safety.

Understanding Tipovers

Tipovers generally come in two types: forward (longitudinal) and sideways (lateral). Knowing the difference is important because the way you respond can vary. In any tipover situation, your goal is to lean away from the direction of the tip to help counterbalance the truck.

When a Tipover is Unavoidable

Here's a list of steps to follow if you find yourself in a tipover situation on a sit-down counterbalanced forklift truck, based on OSHA recommendations:

1. Stay inside the forklift: Do not attempt to jump out of the forklift during a tipover.

2. Hold tight to the steering wheel: Grip the steering wheel firmly to help stabilize yourself and maintain control of the forklift.

3. Brace your feet: Place your feet firmly on the floor of the forklift to provide additional support and stability.

4. Lean away from the direction of the tip: Shift your body weight in the opposite direction of the tipover to counterbalance the falling motion.

5. Lean forward: While leaning away from the direction of the tip, also lean forward to maintain balance and stay within the protective frame of the forklift truck.

By following these steps, you can minimize the risk of injury during a forklift tipover situation.

The Importance of Training

Proper training on how to handle a tipover is not just a recommendation—it’s a necessity. OSHA emphasizes that knowing these steps can prevent serious injuries and costly penalties. Integrating tipover procedures into your safety training ensures everyone knows how to respond effectively.

For stand-up forklifts with rear-entry access, the procedure is a bit different. In the event of a tipover, step backwards off the forklift.

Remember, safety is the most important part of operating any powered industrial vehicle. Make sure these tipover procedures are a regular part of your training sessions to keep everyone on the team informed and safe.



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