Share:

Forklift Precautions in Cold Weather

forklift precautions in cold weather

Looking for forklift accessories to use during the winter season? Contact an equipment specialist!  CONTACT PROLIFT

With cold weather come additional hazards for forklift operation. During the winter season we must stay alert to factors such as temperature, snow, sleet, ice, etc.

Slips & Falls

Outside is cold. Inside is warm. For a forklift operating in both areas, these changes in temperature will cause condensation to form on the forklift. Operators entering and exiting the forklift must watch for slippery steps and handles to avoid slips and falls.

Shoveling snow and salting pavement with ice is vital when forklifts perform outside. Not only can an operator slip and fall, most forklifts are not built to drive on these surfaces. Heavy loads and fast speeds increase the risk for an accident.

Weakened Forklift Production

Electric forklifts face as much as a 25-50% decrease in cycle times during cold weather. The harsher temperature affects the battery’s electrolyte, causing it to thicken and struggle to achieve the chemical reaction needed to power the forklift. Equipment powered by LP fuel is not immune; it is affected when the battery to its engine is weakened. For gas and diesel forklifts, cold temperatures produce hard starts and require more fuel to operate. If a tank is low on fuel, condensation can form inside, causing the forklift to sputter or stop.

For all forklifts, freezing temperatures thicken their oil, similar to the  consistency of honey. This will affect hydraulic-powered features, lowering the amps and causing functions to slow down.

Employee Health

Forklifts can generate dangerous levels of carbon monoxide that hang in the air like a toxic cloud. Closed windows and dock doors decrease ventilation and put employees at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Testing air quality and forklift emissions is a cost-effective step to ensure your employees stay healthy.

Employees should dress in layers to prepare for changing temperatures and decrease the risk of frostbite. It is also important for each person to pay attention to body signals that tell them to slow down or take a break. Similar to forklifts, cold temperatures cause our bodies to use more calories and energy.

Looking for cold-weather options and solutions for your forklifts? Contact ProLift to speak with an equipment specialist!

Contact Equipment Specialist

 

Resource Center Articles

forklift inspection

The Basics of a Pre-Shift Forklift Inspection

When attending a forklift safety class, heavy focus is placed on accidents and preventative measures. Operator safety and skills need attention, but your company must also emphasize the importance of forklift inspection and maintenance. OSHA Guidelines for Forklift Inspection Pre-shift forklift inspections are required by federal law. It states “Industrial trucks shall be examined before […]

Aichi scissor lift

Forklift Safety: Hiring Contractors

It takes many hands to run a warehouse. At times you must call upon the expertise of others, such as contractors, for building repairs or renovations. When heavy equipment is involved, it’s important to understand federal law and regulations. Contractor Safety: Aerial Lifts A major factor is the type of equipment. The most common equipment […]

Safety No Horseplay

Horseplay and Its Unintended Consequences

We all want to have fun at work and one of the best ways to build employee relations is to share a laugh. It reduces stress, makes a team more cohesive and can improve productivity. However, having a laugh and engaging in “forklift horseplay” – actions that are frivolous and rough – are two different […]