Stackers are incredibly useful machinery in warehouses, allowing us to lift and shift loads with ease. In most cases, stackers are fairly safe to use, however there are precautions that can be observed by you to safeguard against safety hazards. In this article, we cover safety tips that most operator courses enforce, including that of handling the stacker, spotting environmental hazards as well as personal and team safety.
Personal safety involves actions or precautions that you should take to ensure your own wellbeing. For starters, you should be properly attired at all times when handling the electric stacker. We recommend having your work helmet, gloves and safety boots on.
Your helmet would keep your head from harm should you knock against any part of the stacker or the load you are carrying. Meanwhile, the gloves would insulate your hands from heat in case you were to touch the battery while it is in operation. Work boots are a must given that loads might fall onto your toes, furthermore they protect your feet in the event that you accidentally kick against the machine.
Thirdly, only ever operate the stacker if you are both physically and mentally healthy to do so. Should you be unwell, it is advised that you do not operate the stacker as you might end up endangering both the goods it is carrying as well as your team.
When operating a stacker, always keep a keen eye out for the whereabouts of your team members. In particular, you should be on the lookout for the following behaviours:
- Make sure that no one is standing or walking underneath raised forks
- Do not use the forks to lift people up
- Do not allow people to stand on the truck
- Always look out for people along the path of travel
Other than vocally alerting your team members, you can also sound the horn. The horn also has a dual usage for sounding when overtaking others, rounding corners or going through crossings with restricted visibility.
The following recommendations are related to actual stacker operations.
Firstly, before operating the stacker, you should perform an inspection of its condition. Walk around it to check for any loose components or damaged parts. Next, start the stacker without a load and test its full operation, running the forks up and down.
When operating on a slope, you should observe the following precautions. If going uphill, drive slowly with the load raised slightly and in front. You should also avoid ever executing at turn on a slope. On the other hand, when going downhill, keep the load on the uphill side so that it does not slide off.
Next, always be extra weary when the stacker is loaded up. Never exceed the safety carrying limit of the stacker while also being certain that the loads are fully secured before moving them. When loads are at height, pay extra attention to ensure that they are positioned correctly. At the same time, never drive with a raised load, being careful to lower any raised load first before driving.