Driving a forklift is not a job that anyone should take lightly. Forklifts carry heavy loads and can be challenging to maneuver in certain work environments. Driving a forklift requires the driver's full attention, making it a highly demanding and tiring activity. That's why it's so important for forklift drivers to ensure that all the safety and comfort features on the vehicle are in place and working correctly. In terms of the driver's safety and comfort, seat belts play an important role. This time at Lift Parts Warehouse, we want to remind you how seat belts for forklifts work and what alternative you have when choosing their replacement.
Why Do Forklifts Have Seat Belts?
Lift Trucks are an essential piece of equipment in many industrial and construction settings. They are also potentially dangerous, so forklift operators must take safety precautions. One of the most important safety measures is wearing a seat belt.
Seat belts for forklifts help to keep lift truck drivers inside their forklift cabs during a collision or tip-over event. This can prevent serious injuries or even death. In fact, forklift seat belts are so effective that they are now mandatory on all forklifts in the United States. While seat belts cannot prevent all forklift accidents, they are a critical safety measure that can help reduce the injuries' severity. So, if you are operating a lift truck, be sure to buckle up! It just might save your life.
What Could Happen if I Decide Not to Wear My Forklift Seat Belt While I'm Driving it?
According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), 85 annual deaths result from forklift accidents on average. Although it seems contradictory, drivers who have been operating lift trucks for a long time are the ones who tend to neglect the use of forklift seat belts the most. Over time, forklift drivers can become overconfident and tend to overestimate the level of risk present in their activities. Therefore, it is essential to count on always-present supervision that guarantees the mandatory use of seat belts for forklifts.
When a forklift driver is involved in an accident (which usually turns out to be a vehicle rollover), his first instinct is to try jumping out from the lift truck. This action increases the chances that the forklift will crush him because it's difficult to jump straight and do it far enough while the tip-over occurs.
As a forklift operator, you must follow safety protocols at all times. One of the most important safety measures is wearing a forklift seat belt while operating the lift truck. Additionally, companies are required by law to ensure the safety of their workers. As a result, if you choose not to wear a seat belt while operating a forklift, you could lose your job.
In the following video, you can appreciate how seat belts for forklifts can help you stay inside your forklift cab during a tip-over.
Main Forklift Seat Belts Parts
Like other vehicles, forklifts come equipped with seat belts, but their purpose is a bit different. Seat belts for forklifts focus on keeping the driver within the confines of the forklift's cab so that they won't be ejected when a tip-over happens. But in general, seat belts for ;forklifts share the same parts you might find on those used in traditional vehicles. Below we will summarize the most important ones:
The seat belt webbing is the part of the seat belt that wraps around the forklift driver's waist. The webbing is made from 100% polyester and has enough strength to hold more than 28 kNw or 6,000 lbs. It meets safety standards for forklift drivers. The webbing does not shrink, rot, mildew, or mold. However, it can get frayed or worn.
Most people are familiar with the seat belt tongue, which is the part of the seat belt that inserts into the buckle. The purpose of the tongue is to keep the seat belt from being pulled through the buckle. If seat belts for forklifts were not restrained by their tongue, they could come completely undone in a tip-over.
The forklift seat belt buckle is an important safety feature designed to hold the tongue firmly and allow the seat belt to be fastened and unfastened with very little force. The buckle is also designed in such a way that anyone can easily and quickly remove the tongue from the buckle and free the passenger after an accident.
The retractor is the winding mechanism that spools the forklift seat belt webbing, allowing the webbing to be withdrawn or pulled back into the retractor. It also locks the webbing in place upon an accident to restrain and help protect the driver. The retractor has two sensors: one locks the webbing when it is pulled out of the retractor at a faster rate than normal, and the other locks the webbing when the forklift brakes or tips over.
Bad Forklift Seat Belts Symptoms
Worn Webbing. Seat belts for forklifts play a vital role in keeping lift truck operators safe, but over time and with frequent use, they can become damaged and less effective. The webbing can fray, develop tears and cuts, and damaged seat belts are more likely to break under load in an accident. For these reasons, it's important to regularly inspect forklift seat belts for damage and replace them as necessary.
A Worn, Rusted, Or Damaged Buckle. The buckle on your forklift seat belt should move smoothly and make a "click" sound when it's latched or unlatched. If the buckle is damaged, like if it's rusty or there are dents in it, you need to get a new one quickly. If the buckle isn't working right, the rest of the seat belt won't matter.
A Loose Or Rigid Forklift Seat Belt. The retractor is a complicated part of a seat belt. It has many different parts and mechanisms. When these mechanisms fail, which will cause the seat belt to feel loose or rigid. You can tell if a retractor is failing by looking for signs that it isn't working correctly, such as a belt that won't retract or release.
A Faulty Locking Mechanism. The locking mechanism is responsible for keeping the seat belt around the driver's waist. The buckle might come out if it fails, leading to serious injury or death during a tip-over event.
Can I Use Any Seat Belt Replacement on My Lift Truck?
You should keep a few things in mind before buying a new replacement forklift seat belt. The first thing is to be aware of the type of forklift seat belts you want to get. There are two main types of options to choose from in the market: OEM and aftermarket products. Both with their own advantages and disadvantages.
In the case of OEM seat belts, we will be talking about those manufactured and supported by the same forklift brand itself. These products are usually more expensive, but they are made to fit perfectly on their corresponding forklift model. They are very reliable and durable.
On the other hand, aftermarket seat belts for forklifts are made by third parties. However, they still meet the safety guidelines established by the material handling sector. These types of equipment are often compatible with many forklift brands and models. They are much more affordable and accessible than OEM seat belts.
When forklift seat belts are comfortable, lift truck drivers are likely to wear them without resistance. In addition, a comfortable seat belt will allow drivers to be more focused on their work, reducing the risk of accidents considerably. Therefore, asking for the operator's opinion before making the purchase would also be recommended.
Purchase Your New Forklift Seat Belt at Lift Parts Warehouse
Your safety is priceless, so when choosing a replacement for your forklift's seat belt, it is important to prioritize quality. Lift Parts Warehouse is the best place to find a high-quality seat belt for forklifts. We have many types of seat belts available in our online catalog that are compatible with many forklift models. You will be able to find the perfect seat belt for your needs.
Our prices are very competitive and will not leave you indifferent. If you require any advice in this regard, do not worry, our highly qualified staff will be able to give you the guidance you want. Our products are of the best quality, and each comes with a one-year warranty to prove it.
If that were not enough, Lift Parts Warehouse puts at your disposal an efficient and reliable shipping service that will deliver your order in just a few days. Do not miss this opportunity - with our security belts, you will be able to carry out your material handling operations on your lift truck with the confidence that you will always remain safe and secure.
For forklift drivers, wearing a seat belt can be the difference between life and death. Therefore, we must guarantee that this item always stays in optimal conditions. Thanks to this device, forklift drivers can be sure that they will remain inside the forklift cab in the event of an accident. If you perceive degrading signs on your forklift seat belts, you should not think twice. Take action right away. Leaving it for another day can be fatal. For that reason, when you require new seat belts for forklifts, you should not hesitate to contact Lift Parts Warehouse services! With our forklift seat belts, comfort and safety are guaranteed.