Fork-wear protection – wearing correct clothing for forklift operation

Most industries require workers to conform to some sort of basic uniform standards—forklift drivers are no exception.  Wearing the correct clothing can make your job as a forklift driver safer, more efficient and more productive.  It is also important to realize that wearing inappropriate clothing whilst operating a forklift could lead to injuries or even fatality.

Why are clothes so important?

A forklift driver may operate his/her vehicle in a wide range of situations and environments each day so it’s extremely important that the appropriate clothing is worn.  When working in confined spaces, narrow aisles, and/or outdoor work environments, and/or loading and unloading high shelving, the correct clothing can protect operators from harm while they go about their work.

Here are some of the protective measures that are very important:

Head protection

Protecting the head from falling objects is paramount when operating a forklift truck.  When operating in confined spaces and moving loads well above head level, there is the ever-present risk of something falling from high racking, so a hardhat is a must.

Eye protection

Safety goggles or face shields protect the worker’s eyes from environmental hazards.  This is extremely important when operating in dusty or windy environments, around chemicals or any other substances that may impair the operator’s vision.  Driving a forklift is a job with a high level of responsibility, so clear vision is always important.

Reflective/safety clothing

It is important that the forklift operator is clearly visible to all other workplace staff at all times. Many materials handling roles often require the driver to get in and out of the vehicle regularly while performing their job, so it’s vital that they are able to be seen clearly when working both in and around their vehicles.  Reflective clothing also alerts other workers that there are heavy machines being used in the area.

Too loose / Too tight

A forklift truck operator’s role requires getting in and out of their vehicle regularly, so clothes must be comfortable and practical—not too tight.  Clothes that are too loose are likely to get caught on door handles or other objects and could cause the operator to fall or otherwise hurt themselves.

Foot protection

Safety footwear is extremely important when operating a forklift truck.  Shoes with puncture-proof soles and toe protection help to keep drivers’ feet safe from environmental hazards and prevent crushing in the event of an object falling onto the foot.

Hand protection

Safety gloves protect the operator’s hands from harm when handling loads.  They also shield the skin from contact with oil residue which may be on the controls of the truck.

At Linde, we believe that Safety = Success.  That’s why we work with companies across the globe to create safer, more efficient and more productive workplace environments.