8 precautions to take when operating lifting equipment

Operating lifting equipment can be extremely dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. To guarantee a safe operation and prevent accidents, here are some things to keep in mind.

When it comes to moving heavy objects around, often the most time-effective and practical way to do it is by using lifting equipment. However, lifting equipment comes with its own inherent dangers if not used properly, so it’s especially important to take safety precautions, especially if it’s being used as part of a tool hire package and the operator is unfamiliar with it.

If you want to ensure that your people are safe when operating this type of equipment, then Smiths Hire offers a range of industry-leading training courses at cost-effective prices at our training centres across the North West & Yorkshire. In the meantime, here are our top 8 precautions you should take when operating lifting equipment to get you started.

1- Check the equipment before using it

Before using any lifting equipment like forklifts and pallet trucks for example, it’s important to check it thoroughly for any signs of damage or wear and tear. This includes checking chains, cables, hooks, and other components for any cracks, bends, or other defects. Also, double-check the load capacity to ensure that whatever it is you’ll be lifting is within tolerance levels.

2- Never stand under the load

It sounds obvious, but if you’re operating lifting equipment, you should NEVER stand under or near the load that’s being moved. If the load falls or objects from the load are dislodged, then it could result in serious injury or even death.

3- Ensure your training is up to date

It goes without saying that only trained personnel should be operating lifting equipment. It’s important to make sure that your training is up to date, that you are familiar with the specific equipment you are using, and that you don’t let anyone who is unqualified operate the machinery in place of you. Check out our range of Training Courses.

4 – Use the right equipment for the job

There are different types of lifting equipment designed for different purposes. If you’re considering tool hire as a way to make your task easier, make sure to choose the right equipment for the job at hand, and never try to use something that’s unfit for purpose if the proper tool is unavailable.

5 – Plan the lift carefully

Just like you learn in manual handling training courses, before lifting any object, it’s important to assess and plan the lift carefully. This includes considering the weight of the object, its dimensions, and the path that it will take.

6 – Use spotters

When lifting heavy or awkward objects, it’s a good idea to use spotters. Spotters can help guide the object and ensure that it’s lifted safely, but they also give you added peace of mind that you have immediate help if an accident were to happen.

7- Be aware of your surroundings

When operating lifting equipment, being constantly aware of your surroundings is crucial. This includes identifying potential hazards such as trip hazards, poor lighting, unstable stacking, and the presence of other colleagues walking in your path. By being mindful of your surroundings, you can help ensure the safety of yourself and those around you and avoid accidents or injuries.

8 – Take regular breaks

Operating heavy machinery while tired can pose a significant and potentially life-threatening danger to yourself and those in your vicinity. It is imperative to prioritise safety by ensuring you take regular breaks and rest adequately to effectively mitigate the heightened risk of fatigue-related accidents and injuries. By conscientiously incorporating intervals into your work routine, you safeguard your well-being and contribute to a safer environment for everyone involved.

Expert training for your operating lifting equipment

You might not automatically think of heavy lifting equipment falling under the definition of tool hire, but it’s one of the most popular services that Smiths Hire offers. That’s why we offer comprehensive training courses – firstly, to ensure that you can use our hire equipment correctly, but also so your employees can use their own in-house equipment safely.

With courses covering everything from asbestos awareness to counterbalance forklift truck refresher courses, emergency first aid, plant training, safety harness training, and cherry picker and cherry lift training, we cover every type of training to keep your people safe, your equipment in good working order, and your legal health and safety obligations met.

If you have any questions about tool hire or our training courses, don’t hesitate to call our team on 0333 323 2100. We have 16 different tool hire depots and 7 training centres across the North West and Yorkshire, across many major cities, such as Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Leeds. so we’re confident we can help!