Propane Forklift Refueling Safety Precautions
When you are dealing with propane forklifts, there are several important safety precautions that must be followed, in addition to normal safety precautions that apply to all types of forklifts. By being aware of the requirements and following them at all times, you can save you and those around you from serious injury or even death. You will also minimize the potential for damage to property and save yourself a lot of stress and even money. Taking the following steps will ensure that people, equipment and facilities are safe and secure.
Operating a forklift that is powered by propane isn’t that much different than other types of forklifts, at least during the driving and operating portion. Make sure you watch out for other people and take care not to injure anyone. Utilize available checklists and make sure that you always do all inspections thoroughly and properly. Don’t rush through inspections or skip any steps. Take your time and don’t get in a hurry while you are operating a forklift; most accidents are caused by operators trying to rush through a job. Make sure you pay attention to what is going on and be aware of your surroundings. Complacency and inattention are the other major causes of accidents and incidents. And stay current on all required training involving your forklift and other workplace safety issues. This ensures that you have the proper training to do your job. It also can lessen the consequences to you and your employer if there is an accident or incident.
When it’s time to refuel, there are a few things you should do to make sure the process goes smoothly and safely. First, before changing cylinders, move the forklift to a safe are. Then turn the forklift off and set the parking brake. Close the valve on the cylinder and then disconnect it from the forklift. Then use proper handling and lifting techniques to remove the cylinder from the forklift. Take the used cylinder to the designated area and obtain a fresh one.
Once you have the empty propane cylinder off the forklift, it’s time to install a fresh cylinder. Obtain a new cylinder and inspect it thoroughly for damage or leaks. Make sure you smell for leakage, do a sight inspection for rust, gouges or other issues, and then listen for any leaking or whistling noises that could signal a problem. Use proper lifting techniques to install the new cylinder on your forklift. Inspect the connections on the forklift before connecting the propane tank. After you connect the tank, inspect again and make sure everything is connected properly and there are no issues. After you are satisfied that everything is as it should be, you can resume work as normal.
If you smell a leak or notice signs of a leak, do not hesitate to take action. The sooner you take care of the problem, the less chance there is for damage or injury to personnel or property. Immediately turn off your forklift. Close the valve on the propane tank and remove it from the area. It is best to take it to an outdoor location that is away from any sources of ignition that might cause a fire or explosion. Properly tag the tank as unserviceable and inform the proper personnel so they can handle the tank appropriately.
Propane forklifts are safe for operation and use in most applications. However, the forklift is only as safe as the operator using it. Take the proper safety precautions and do the right thing at all times. Make sure you have the proper certifications needed to use your forklift, and stay current on all training. By making sure you are following the correct policies and procedures, you will get your work done the right way and you will minimize the potential for damage to property and personnel.
For all questions relating to propane and propane safety, contact us today!