Low-level order picker: Full safety guide. Low-level order pickers are an essential item of stock-picking machinery used in many different types of warehouses. Knowing how to use and drive a low-level order picker safely and correctly is vital so that you can use this equipment effectively without causing any risk of harm or damage to the machine, yourself and to others. Here’s all you need to know.

Full training required

It’s important that an operative has received full training on how to use a low-level order picker before they use the machine. As well as understanding how to use the picker, training is needed to understand the relevant health and safety issues associated with driving this kind of vehicle and the hazards to be aware of.

Understand the vehicle

Even if you’ve used an order picker before, each model or type may vary slightly, so it’s a wise idea to familiarise yourself with the manufacturer’s manual or user guide beforehand. As well as checking documentation, understand the essential features of the machine, such as its lifting capacity and all of the safety components, and check the maintenance log to see when the vehicle was last inspected. The lifting capacity is usually shown on the chassis, but if you can’t find it anywhere on the machine, consult the manual or check with a supervisor.

Check the machine

Before you get behind the controls of a low-level order picker, give it an inspection first to make sure there are no visible worn or damaged parts. Never use the vehicle if you spot problems, as it could be dangerous to you and others. Report vehicle malfunctions or damage immediately. Do not attempt to try to fix or repair problems with the machine yourself, unless you are trained and authorised to do so.

Using the charger

Before you set the order picker in motion, unplug the battery from its charger and remove the charging cable. Don’t forget to plug it back into the charger once you have finished using the machine.

Operating the vehicle

To move the machine forward, the controller needs to be turned clockwise. To reverse the machine, move the controller anti-clockwise. Operate the controller to steer it in the direction you want to go in, keeping both hands on the controls and your eyes ahead. Always check that it is safe to carry out any movement of the picker before proceeding, making sure that there are no other vehicles, pedestrians or obstacles in your path.

Using the forks

The forks of the low-level order picker should be placed in the lowest position. When you need to lift the forks off the ground to reach items, look for the control with an arrow pointing upwards. Use the control with a downwards pointing arrow to lower the forks, such as when you need to pick up a pallet. Make sure that the pallet is firmly in place on the forks before you lift them and move the vehicle.

Safe driving

At all times, it’s important that you’re aware of any hazards and safety concerns when using a low-level order picker. Only use the vehicle in designated traffic lane areas, keeping note of any floor markings. Stick to the speed limit and right of way rules, and make sure to use your horn if you need to alert anyone of your presence. Use the correct and proper PPE, where required.

For further information related to order pickers, contact the experts at SHS Handling Solutions.