There are nearly 100,000 forklift injuries and fatalities in the U.S. every year. Your company should follow safety regulars to avoid becoming one of these statistics. One of the ways to do this is to fully understand what the forklift weight maximum capacity means.
Forklift Weight Maximum Capacity
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has a duty to protect workers in the workplace, including forklift operators. Powered industrial trucks (PITs), also known as forklifts, provide a special challenge. Due to their smaller size and versatility, they tend to be used for a little bit of everything. Unfortunately, misuse of forklifts leads to many thousands of injuries and deaths each year. One of these misuses involved overloading the forklift. OSHA requires that loads must remain beneath the rated capacity of the PIT, written on the “data plate” on the forklift.
Understanding the Forklift Warning Label
The data plate has several important numbers. These include the maximum capacity and the load center. You can take the load capacity at face value. If the load capacity is 5,000 lbs., never attempt to lift more than 5,0000 pounds. The other rating is a bit trickier and takes some quick math to fully comprehend.
The load center represents the center of gravity for a load. It should never exceed 24 inches because if the center falls too far forward, the forklift will tip. Then, the load could fall off or the forklift might fall over. You can use a center of gravity higher than that on the data plate, but this results in the reduction of the maximum load capacity.
Calculating the Maximum Load Capacity
Luckily, you can quickly collect the maximum load by using the formula below. This allows you to optimize the usage of your PIT without putting your crew in danger.
Rated load center divided by Actual load center times Rated capacity = New safe load capacity
Let’s look at a real-world example. For the sample problem, the load center is 28 inches. To find the new load capacity, calculate as follows:
24 inches / 28 inches x 5,000 lbs. = 4,286 lbs.
This calculation tells you the forklift weight maximum capacity, which can save time and lives when adhered to.
Help your staff understand the importance of maintaining the highest safety standards. Maintaining the load weight for each load could cause some delay in the daily schedule, but it will also prevent accidents and injuries. On the whole, accidents and injuries that result from cutting corners cost a lot more than patiently maintaining the OSHO requirements.