Safety Guide for LPG Forklift

- May 10, 2020-

Safety Guide for LPG Forklift

Liquefied petroleum gas is superior to diesel and batteries in terms of versatility, reliability, efficiency and lower emissions. According to relevant data, forklift trucks that use liquefied petroleum gas as fuel in the United States account for approximately 90% of the market share of category IV and V forklift trucks. Abroad, most managers prefer liquefied petroleum gas as power rather than diesel or batteries. For example, in foreign countries, 70% of internal combustion forklifts with a rated load of 5,000-10,000 pounds use liquefied petroleum gas. Those with a rated load of 10,000 or more tons also account for about 50%. At present, the domestic LPG forklifts are used less, and it is also because of the relatively low share of LPG forklifts. The use of LPG forklifts has not attracted everyone ’s attention, so today we emphasize the use of LPG forklifts. Safety is also crucial.

LPG itself is also very safe

Liquefied petroleum gas is a non-toxic, non-toxic energy source that can be safely used outdoors or indoors. This is because propane leaks will not damage the soil and have negligible impact on the ozone layer. Similarly, the leak of LPG will not cause environmental damage to drinking water or marine ecosystems, and the spilled gasoline will quickly pollute the groundwater, exceeding the recommended health level of drinking water.

Propane is also colorless and almost tasteless. For safety, an identification odor is added to the liquefied petroleum gas, so it is easy to detect in the event of a leak. In addition, it is an approved clean fuel listed in the US Clean Air Act of 1990, which helps provide cleaner and safer air for employees working near equipment. On the other hand, the toxins released from diesel equipment have been shown to stimulate respiratory diseases, such as asthma, and are classified as carcinogens by the World Health Organization.

In the United States, the puncture resistance of LPG tanks is 20 times that of tanks filled with ethanol, methanol, or gasoline, and is made of carbon steel according to procedures established by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. Propane has the lowest flammability of all alternative fuels. Compared with ethanol, methanol, hydrogen and natural gas, propane has a smaller flammability range, thereby reducing the possibility of propane accidentally igniting when it leaks.

Special safety tips for LPG

Just like any heavy equipment, proper safety measures must be maintained when operating propane forklifts. In addition to general safety tips (such as wearing a seat belt, running at a safe speed, and maintaining a safe distance from the edge of the ramp), you also need to remember some specific LPG processing requirements:

Before operation, please check the LPG cylinder. Check the cylinder for rust, dents, gouges and leaks. Cylinders that show signs of wear or leakage should not be used and may need to be replaced even within the cylinder's recertification date.

Store cylinders in a safe shelf or cage, ideally away from exits, stairs, entrances and crowded places. The facility ’s LPG supplier can help determine the best location for the cylinder. The gas cylinder can be placed horizontally with the pressure relief valve in the highest position. The operator should use appropriate lifting techniques when handling the gas cylinder.

When not in use, close the service valve on the gas cylinder. This helps prevent potential injuries around the internal combustion engine and unexpected fuel loss.

Fix the pressure relief valve on the cylinder. The operator should check that the relief valve fitting is approximately 180 degrees from the positioning pin of the forklift.

In the United States, the LPG industry has special procedures to support businesses operating with LPG power equipment, including assistance from LPG suppliers across the country. LPG suppliers can provide additional security support in various ways. For beginners, they can help staff determine the most suitable location for the deflation bottle, so as not to interfere with the workflow. They can also check the cylinder every time the cylinder is replaced, stop the cylinder that is damaged in use, and repair and replace worn valves and O-rings as needed. LPG suppliers also strive to ensure that all employees understand how to safely install LPG cylinders on their forklifts, and some LPG suppliers also provide additional safety training opportunities for forklift truck customers. Although there is no such safety support and training in China, it is even more important to keep the above safety tips in mind.

LPG is safe and clean. No matter what the energy of the forklift is, enterprise equipment managers and forklift operators must regularly check and follow the correct forklift safety procedures. We hope that our safety tips can attract your attention and improve your safety awareness.

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