forklift3 Forklift Safety Tips to Re-Enforce

There are many risks to operating a forklift, one of the most common lift trucks used in the industrial workplace. About 100 American workers are killed every year in forklift accidents in the workplace. And over 30,000 workers a year sustain serious injuries related to forklifts.

Too often, fatalities and injuries are due to driver error. That’s why the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, requires that each forklift driver is fully trained to operate the vehicle safely. And if they’re not, it can be expensive. Companies who fail to train forklift operators properly may be subject to fines as high as $10,000.

Still, if trained, some forklift operators refuse to comply with safety regulations. Often, they take dangerous shortcuts. Accidents and injuries result, leading to huge fines for employers and termination of employees. Worse yet, unsafe practices put the operator and the load they’re carrying at risk, while endangering workers on the warehouse floor.

The solution for employers is to re-enforce safety rules with forklift operators. Start with these tips.

Wear a Seatbelt

Forklift safety begins with always wearing a seat belt. Most fatalities occur when a forklift has overturned or falls from a loading dock. And if this happens, the safest place for the operator is in the cabin, properly secured. Some companies use systems like Forktrack to make sure that forklifts are operated in the safest manner possible.

Use the Horn

According to OSHA rules, forklift drivers must slow down and sound the horn at intersections and other blind spots. Drivers should also use the horn when nearing a doorway or entrance. When pedestrians are nearby, they should sound their horn to alert them of their presence. And when other forklift operators are near, using the horn helps avoid dangerous and costly collisions.

When Parked, Keep Forks at Floor Level

When parking a forklift, the best practice is to lower the forks fully, tilted forward and flush with the ground. This safety practice will lessen the risk that a pedestrian may trip and fall over the forks. To prevent accidents, consider putting orange safety cones on or around the forks if the lift is going to be sitting in one place for long.

More tips about forklift safety are found on the OSHA website.

To get more advice about hiring and managing employees in light industrial settings, visit the Nesco Resource website.