Tips to Work Safely with a Telehandler

The World of MEWP Equipment

A telehandler is a piece of heavy-duty machinery that offers great advantages to industries like construction, agriculture, and mining, but with their heavy-duty capabilities comes the needs for great safety too. When operating and working around a telehandler, it is paramount to be completely safe and aware at all times.

Accidents can happen in a heartbeat, and most often when shortcuts on safety are taken. In this blog, we take you through the most important telehandler safety tips and protocols that should be considered when operating this type of heavy machinery. We will also delve into why training, certification, maintenance, and inspections are essential too.

Safety Tips When Operating A Telehandler

At Goscor Access Solutions, we always recommend these 10 tips about telehandler safety before, during, after working with a telehandler of any kind:

  1. Only allow a trained operator to operate the machine
  2. Always conduct proper pre-operational checks
  3. Always wear the appropriate PPE
  4. Always check ground conditions for hazards such as excavations and plan a suitably safe route around any obstacles
  5. Use the telehandler within its specified limits
  6. Be aware of the telehandler’s blind spots
  7. Avoid overhead power lines and other hazards
  8. Always keep the telehandler’s load within its capacity
  9. Never leave the telehandler unattended while the engine is running
  10. Be aware of your surroundings when entering / exiting the cab of the telehandler. Look out for  cranes working overhead, moving equipment in the area etc.

By following these safety tips and guidelines when operating a telehandler, you can help ensure a safe and productive work environment for yourself and others around you.

Training and Certification Requirements

Every country has its own requirements around telehandler operation and certification. In South Africa, an operator is required to be fully trained and certified to operate a telehandler in order to comply with safety regulations. When it comes to general guidelines around telehandler safety training and certification, these points should always apply;

  • Proper training on how to operate a telehandler safely is essential. Training should cover topics such as equipment inspection, load charts, operating controls, load stability, and safe operating practices.
  • Certification for operating a telehandler typically involves both written and practical tests that evaluate an operator’s knowledge of safe operating practices and their ability to operate the machine safely.
  • Certification is usually valid for a certain period, such as three to five years, after which operators must complete additional training and testing to renew their certification.
  • Some industries, such as construction and manufacturing, may require additional training and certification specific to their industry or work site. This may include specialized training on site-specific hazards, such as working at heights, or certification in operating certain types of attachments or equipment.

We highly recommend to all our customers that they check the specific training and certification requirements in their specific industry. This will help ensure that the operators you use are properly trained, you are running your projects in line with regulations, and you can avoid accidents or injuries on the job.

Maintenance and Inspection Checklists

Are you wondering if there is a specific telehandler safety checklist that can be used to check the safe usage of the machine before it can be operated? The answer is, indeed there is. The checklist will vary according to different industries and specific requirements, but in general a telehandler safety checklist should include:

  • Pre-start Inspection which includes checking the machine’s fluids, tires, hydraulic systems, and fuel levels to ensure they are all at the appropriate levels.
  • Review the load charts for the specific machine and attachment to ensure that the telehandler’s lifting capacity will not be exceeded.
  • Check all attachments, such as forks, buckets, or lifting hooks, to ensure they are properly secured and in good condition.
  • Check all mirrors and cameras to ensure good visibility when operating the telehandler.
  • Ensure that all safety features, such as seat belts, horns, lights, and backup alarms, are in place and functioning properly.
  • Check the telehandler’s stability before operating by ensuring that it is on a suitably compacted surface, the outriggers are properly deployed and extended, and the machine is level.
  • Check all operating controls, such as the steering, brakes, boom, and lift controls, to ensure they are functioning properly.
  • Inspect the tires to ensure that they are in good condition and have the appropriate air pressure.
  • Assess the work environment for potential hazards, such as overhead power lines, soft or unstable ground, or other obstacles.
  • Ensure that all required personal protective equipment, such as hard hats, safety glasses, and high-visibility clothing, is in good condition and being worn properly.

By completing a comprehensive safety checklist before operating a telehandler, operators can help ensure that the machine is in good condition and that all safety features are in place and functioning properly. This can help minimize the risk of accidents and injuries on the job site.

At Concord Access Solutions, we not only believe in offering the best range of access machinery like telehandlers, but we aim to guide, regulate, and inform our customers about the safe operating of these machines too.

To find out more about our telehandler range for sale and rent, contact Concord Access Solutions today.