Why Are Forklifts Dangerous?

Forklifts are often an essential tool for completing some tasks in factories. But they do come with their own risks. So why are forklifts so dangerous?

They are extremely heavy, weighing 9,000 pounds or more. This is a lot more than your average car. So one of these vehicles could cause some serious damage to you, colleagues or the factory.
Forklifts are much harder to stop, so you should never walk in front of one. They only have one set of breaks on their front wheels which makes their stopping time longer.
Finally, when a forklift is loaded up this is to the front. This blocks the view of the driver so they won’t be able to see as clearly. Be cautious when a forklift is driving near you.

Take all of these dangers into consideration when working with or around forklifts. Remember these and try to be as safe as possible.

What is a plasma cutting machine?

A plasma cutting machine essentially makes use of a high-speed jet of ionised gas at high heat from a very narrow aperture. The high-velocity gas also referred to as ‘plasma’, passes electricity from the cutter torch to the workpiece, melting the fabric to create a clean cut. When the plasma jet hits the workpiece, recombination occurs and as a result, the gas reverts to its normal state, emitting intense heat as it does so. As mentioned above, the intense heat melts the metal. Plasma gases are usually argon, argon/hydrogen or nitrogen.

So is it better than a laser cutter?

Laser cutting is a precise thermal cutting process, using a focused beam of light, so it’s completely different to plasma cutting machines. So to properly explain how a plasma cutter works, it’s important that we answer the following:

 “What is plasma?

At its simplest, plasma is the fourth state of matter. We commonly consider matter having three states: a solid, a liquid, and a gas. Matter changes from one state to the opposite through the introduction of energy, like heat. So as an example, water will change from a solid (ice) to its liquid state when a particular amount of warmth is applied. If the warmth levels are increased, it’ll transition again from a liquid to a gas (steam). Now, if the warmth levels increase once more, the gases that structure the steam will become ionized and electrically conductive, becoming plasma. Therefore, a plasma cutter uses electrically conductive gas to transfer energy to any conductive material, leading to a cleaner, faster cutting process than oxyfuel.

The plasma arc formation begins when a gas like oxygen, nitrogen or argon is enforced through a little nozzle orifice inside the torch. An electrical arc is then generated from the external power supply to the present high-pressured gas flow, leading to what’s commonly mentioned as a “plasma jet”. The jet immediately reaches temperatures up to 40,000° F, before quickly piercing through the material and blowing away the molten material. In one swift motion, you really wouldn’t’ know what’s going on, and it does look a little like a laser beam, but it’s simply not the case.

What are some of the key advantages?

  • Increased cutting speeds and heightened efficiency. When plasma cutting on metal up to 2″ thick, plasma cutting machines are capable of speed twice as fast as cutting by oxyfuel. That’s why it’s seen as the superior option.
  • Very little waste
  • High Inside Piercing Speed
  • Eliminates Plate Warping
  • Extra Versatility

Keeping a safe factory workplace

Maintaining safety in a factory workplace is paramount to ensure you reduce the risk of injury. Factories can be a dangerous environment, full of hazards and high-risk machinery if the correct measures have not been put in place.

All workers should be made aware of safety measures in the workplaces and have undergone training annually to ensure they follow the rules. All machinery used must be tested regularly and operated by trained personnel only.

Clear signs should be used to highlight areas of high risk, such as hazardous waste, heavy loads, or moving vehicles. As well as clearly visible signs, all workers should be visible too, making high visibility jackets a great option for those workers on the factory floor. Appropriate hard hats should also be worn in areas where there is a risk of objects falling that could injure someone’s head.

The site manager should do regular risk assessments in order to reduce the risk and create a safe working environement in the factory setting,

Crane forks or Forklifts? How they can help your workplace

If you are looking to improve the productivity of your workforce, or simply want to assist your employees with machinery that will help reduce their workload, you may be considering buying a forklift or crane forks. However, which one would benefit you the most?

Benefits of a forklift:

If your facility has enough open floor space, forklifts would be a perfect solution for your moving requirements. These are often used to move goods quickly in a widespread building or from one bay to another or a loading dock. There are also forklifts available which are designed for particular jobs.

The forklifts are small but compact machines, designed to fit in tight and narrow areas. Also, they’re highly manoeuvrable and capable of lifting different loads. The simplest thing is that you can choose a forklift with the correct configuration and capacity depending on your needs. Forlifts, however, do require training, as safety in the workplace is essential.

Benefits of crane forks:

Crane forks are suspended and can lift a load that a forklift can not get access to. Fork cranes are useful in large construction sites as they help with the movement of pallets to the correct place. Safety nets are highly recommended when using crane forks to help reduce the risk of any injury within the construction site. 

The use of any type of equipment is a workplace comes with its own risks, and it is important for the site manager to do the correct risk assessment of the site before any machinery is used. All workers must be made aware of the site risks, and appropriate measures must be in place to provide optimum safety and reduce risk. 

Machinery must only be used by trained members of the team and correct use of signs, uniform, and other saftey measures must be in place before any work can begin. 

Should you hire or buy machinery? 

Consider the cost of buying a forklift or crane forks compared to hiring them. If hiring, work out the timeframe, you require the equipment and possible delays that could occur. If you are considering buying your own machinery for the job, then research the safety tests the equipment must have before it can be used. 

When you consider your team’s safety, the simplest place to start out is by ensuring relevant workers are properly trained and authorised before stepping onto the worksite. 

As the general contractor, you ought to create a safety plan in conjunction with subcontractors that contains an inventory of hazards and concerns. It covers all phases of safety on a construction site, including crane operation, and it should include requirements or concerns from the owner or the design team. These risks should be assessed during the drafting of the contract documents, and it is vital for them to be available for review before people arrive on the worksite. 

Additionally, check that the lift director, lift operator, crane hands, and qualified riggers are available before project commencement to discuss crane location, lifting zones, crane radius, and communications.

What Are Ratchet Straps Used For?

Ratchet straps are convenient and easy to use. The ratcheting mechanism can provide the leverage you need for the heaviest equipment. While this is important, you might be wondering what the common uses for ratchet straps are.

Farming

Ratchet straps are often used in farming because they offer the durability and flexibility farm-related work requires. These straps are easy to fasten on trailers when hauling produce or farm equipment. This is particularly important when working with trailers where small hooks cannot be used.

These straps can also be used to pull or tow equipment. The secure fastening ensures the towed item is safe and will not be left behind.

Storage

If you need to store something by attaching it to the walls or ceilings, ratchet straps are the best option. Of course, the walls or ceiling will need to have anchor points for the straps. The use of these straps for wall and ceiling storage will increase the storage space you have while keeping everything in place.

These straps do not only work in storage when holding items to the walls or ceilings. If you need to fasten items together for storage, these straps are a good solution. They will not come loose during storage and you can adjust them as needed.

Transportation

If you are moving anything from one point to another, you should use ratchet straps. This use of the straps works for more than just farm equipment. Items you would usually secure with bungee cords, ropes or chains can be held in place by ratchet straps. In many cases, the use of ratchet straps is better than these other options.

The items you can secure for transport with these straps range from motorbikes to electronics to surfboards. They are the most secure way of fastening your items to your trailer or vehicle.

Palette Shipping

If you need to ship anything on a palette, you should consider ratchet straps. This will make securing the items to the palette much easier. It is possible to use these straps for boxes or larger items. Securing the items to the palette in this way will improve the stability and safety of the items when they are moved by a forklift.

There are many ways that ratchet straps can be used. You can use them for farm-related work or when transporting something on your roof rack. They also make storage easier and help keep items on palettes for shipping.