Most forklift operators agree that it is safest to move a load after tilting the mast towards the driver. By doing so, the centre of gravity moves towards the driver, which further increases the stability of the entire forklift. This practice means that the load (usually a pallet) is not perpendicular to the ground and introduces the possibility for the load to shift and in turn, cause part of the load to fall off of a pallet.
To protect forklift operators from this potentially deadly situation most modern forklift masts are equipped with what is known as a ‘load guard’. The pallet is positioned on the tines such that one surface is flush with the load guard. This further increases the stability of the load when the mast is tilted back.
One final passive safety feature is the overhead guard. In the unlikely event that part of the load falls off of a raised pallet, the overhead guard is designed to protect the operator from small objects. The overhead guard is constructed to a very high standard and is an integral part of the forklift’s design.
These safety features are included in most modern forklifts, however this does not replace the need to ensure that each load is secure before being moved.