How to Improve Forklift Operation And Safety In The Workplace

It’s a fact that whenever a forklift is needed, no substitute will work. A forklift is one vehicle that is used in many different types of businesses from the manufacturing plant (chemicals, metal and plastics), big distribution centres (frozen and refrigerated produce and other foods, external environments) and big online merchandising sites (finished products).

Forklifts are very good investments for big businesses, however, there are many challenges in owning and operating such pieces of machinery. These challenges include the safety, security, protection, assurance and quality of the products being handled and the personnel that operates the forklift and the people around the operations area.

The Numbers

Safety, personnel and products are some of the primary concerns of companies around the world, but still, accidents can happen anytime. Forklifts are not exempted to this, it can either be due to some human factors or the equipment itself. Being hit by forklift tynes is no joke. Just imagine a buffalo or rhino on skates hitting a person or a product, it will surely result in big damages, loss of money and even a lawsuit.

According to the Australian Industry body that promotes work safety, Safe Work Australia and in accordance to the National Safe Work month, the Australian manufacturing industry shows:

  • 14 workers are killed every year
  • 19% vehicle incidents
  • 19% are hit by falling objects
  • 17% factory process workers

And if accidents happen, there will no doubt be compensations that need to be paid to the affected personnel. There are:

  • 14,900 serious claims every year
  • 195 muscular stress while carrying or lifting objects
  • 17% muscular stress while handling objects/products
  • 40% of these issues are from food product and fabricated metal product manufacturing industries

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Below are some Australian forklift safety statistics as reference:

  • 28.6% of forklift fatalities/death/injuries are a result of loads falling on pedestrians.
  • 25% of forklift fatalities/death/injuries are the result of pedestrians being crushed or struck by a moving forklift.
  • The 46.4% remaining fatalities/death/injuries are due to operators being crushed by or falling from a forklift.
  • About $2 billion worth of products are damaged due to forklift loads shifting, sliding, falling or dropping off the forklift tynes.

No-one wants their business to add to the statistics. If your company has recorded forklift issues such as:

  • Products are slipping off the forklift
  • The tynes are visibly hazardous around personnel
  • The tynes have punctured products
  • The tynes have scratched some products during transit

then you need to have the best solution for these problems.

The Quick and Effective Fix

You need to have a quick and a long-term solution. Accidents cost money and you don’t want to lose investments on issues that can be prevented.

You can do this by adding forklift grips to the tynes of your forklifts.

These grips are made from high quality, durable, steel reinforced rubber mats, caps and cushions that provide safe, secure and stable movements of loads. Think of it of these grips as safety gloves for your forklift and products being loaded.

One fine example of this is “GenieGrips”, produced in Australia. The removable and easy to install GenieGrips are best for preventing punctures, tearing, scratching or damage of any merchandise during lifting and transit. Each mat and cap covers the metal tip of the tyne and providing a soft but durable and steady surface.

Image credit: GenieGrips mat

Image credit: GenieGrips cap

The cushions are placed at the parallel end of the tyne adding more protection during product transit. It eliminates friction and absorbs the impact of merchandise that happens during lifting, loading and placing of loads. It’s also easy to install and fit with 3 powerful magnets that secure them to the tyne carriage. The Genie Cushions are designed to be paired with the Genie mats and caps to provide the complete solution and protection for the forklift tyne.

Image credit: GenieGrips cushion

The Genie mats, caps and cushions features include:

  • Surfaces are designed and patterned with anti-slip surfaces that prevent sliding due to fast movement or a sudden stop.
  • Each product is made in high visibility yellow to be easily visible during the day and night
  • The Genie mats use a secure lock-in hook mechanism to make it easier to install and remove
  • The Genie caps  are designed to prevent product tears and punctures
  • Each product can withstand up to 110 degrees C, oil resistant and non-marking
  • Each product comes with 1-year warranty.

GenieGrips products are designed and manufactured in Australia, which provides the company full control of the production. From overseeing the process and control on the final product, this ensures that every customer will receive the best quality and the best solutions to many businesses.

All products are manufactured under ISO 9001 standards ensuring high-quality management, and only the best materials are used during manufacturing.

Long-Term Forklift Safety Tips

In addition to the quick and effective uses of GenieGrips, there should be best practices or long-term solutions followed safely operating forklifts. As many experts say, prevention is the best solution.

  1. Operators should be qualified, properly trained and licensed to operate forklifts.
  2. Appropriate clothes should be worn always that include high visibility shoes, hard hats and safety shoes.
  3. Forklifts should be checked and maintained regularly before and after use. Steering, brakes, tyres, mast, controls and warning devises should be checked and replaced if damaged or worn out.
  4. The operator should also use seat belts whenever operating the forklift. The operator should always pay attention and follow any worksite rules and guidelines. They should be aware of the load height, and the overhead guards when entering and exiting buildings.
  5. Operate at a safe speed and never go past the speed limit. Driving a forklift is not a race. Take corners slowly because this will minimize the risks of tipping. Make starts and stops gradually and slowly.
  6. Avoid any hazards that can endanger the operator, the products and the equipment. Always have a safe distance from other trucks, forklifts and other heavy equipment. Also, have enough space to stop safely. Remember that a heavy equipment having a heavy load needs to have some distance before it can fully stop. It’s basic physics.
  7. Make sure that the loads are stable and secure. Do not overload or the load or the forklift may tip over. Make sure the loads are stacked and positioned correctly across the tynes. Make sure that the load is tilted back to increase stability.
  8. Have pedestrian exclusion zones and make sure that forklifts and pedestrians are completely separated on your facility’s layout.
  9. Buy forklifts with a higher capacity than you actually need, this way, you will be sure that you will not go over your load limits.

What Are People Saying About GenieGrips?

Adam Maxwell – Logistics Manager – Botanical Food Company Pty Ltd
15th September 2017

“We have been using GenieGrips® for just over a year now. We use them to prevent our CHEP PB7 bins falling off the Tynes when we move them around in the freezer. They work very well for us, and when used, result in a zero-failure rate (i.e. no bins have been dropped and we move hundreds a day)”.

Mark Robertson – SF Warehouse Manager – The Dow Chemical Company (USA)
14th September 2017

“I wish to tell you how much I appreciate your product. It allowed us to move away from strapping every pallet to the backrest of the forklift prior to moving”.


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