Forklifts are one of the leading causes of workplace injuries around the world. In fact, there are about 34,900 serious injuries annually due to forklift accidents, whereas there are 61,800 non-serious injuries annually related to forklift accidents. These are pretty grim statistics about a piece of machinery that is so widely used in factories and warehouses. However, if businesses were to implement more stringent training policies, about 70% of forklift accidents in the US could be prevented, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Let us find out 6 simple tips to ensure forklift safety.
- Operator Training
While this is a seemingly obvious safety tip, many organizations ignore operator training as they are unwilling to invest the time and resources in it. What they don’t realize is that lack of operator training ends up costing them more in terms of accidental damage to property and employees. Thus, it’s of utmost importance to train your forklift operators thoroughly and keep them updated on forklift handling procedures regularly.
- Sticking to Lift Capacity
A common mistake many forklift operators make in order to save time is overloading the forklift. But doing so can result in breakdowns and the risk of damage to goods. Additionally, it can lead to serious accidents and injury to workers. Thus, it’s always advisable to stick to the specified load capacity of a forklift to maintain safety.
- Maintain Visibility
One of the leading causes of forklift accidents is lack of visibility for the driver. This causes collisions and overturning of the forklift in many cases. Thus, it is important to keep the forks low near the ground so the driver has proper forward visibility. When the load restricts driver’s visibility, instruct them to drive the truck in reverse. Moreover, they should ensure that they have a clear view of the rack when positioning a load.
- Beware of the Surroundings
It is important for the operator to be mindful of the surrounding environment whilst operating a forklift. Avoiding bumps, uneven or slippery ground surfaces and driving on designated pathways is a good way to do that. Moreover, they should be mindful of the load’s height, the forklift’s mast and overhead guard when entering or exiting buildings. When operating a truck close to a loading dock’s edge or ramp, maintain a safe distance from the edge as the forklift can fall over it. Avoid operating on bridge plates, unless they’re capable of handling the weight of the forklift and load.
- Maintain Stability of the Load and Forklift
Firstly, check if the loads are stable and secure before moving them. Secondly, always ensure that the loads are tilted backwards with the forks low to the ground whilst moving to ensure the forklift’s stability. Ensure that the operators’ hands and shoes are dry and that they sit in a comfortable position so all controls are easily reachable. Furthemore, don’t let workers ride on the truck with the driver unless there’s a second seat fitted into the forklift.
Following these basic tips can go a long way in ensuring forklift safety and minimizing workplace accidents, injury and damage. Learn here for more