OSHA reports that each year, approximately 11 percent of all forklifts are involved in accidents. In order to avoid common injuries like falls, tip overs and running over fellow workers, here are five dos and don’ts when it comes to forklift safety.
Do Drive Responsibly
Just like driving a car on the road, you should always operate your forklift at a speed that will allow you to stop safely. You should slow down further before turning down an aisle so the forklift doesn’t tip over. Reducing your speed should also happen when approaching intersections or any other place where it’s hard to see oncoming traffic. What you shouldn’t do when driving a forklift? Sudden stops and turns, driving fast on slippery surfaces and not wearing your seatbelt.
Don’t Go Over Your Forklift’s Load Capacity
Carrying a load that’s heavier than what your forklift can handle can cause dangerous tip overs or falling loads. Such a load can also block your view and cause harm to yourself or a fellow worker. It’s also not advised to stack heavy loads on top of light ones or stack palettes any kind of way.
Do Be Aware of Pedestrians
Not only are you responsible for your own safety while operating a forklift, you are also responsible for the safety of those around you. So be aware of other people walking or working on the job site. Be sure they’re not in contact with the forklift while it’s in motion. Also make sure you let them know not to walk under a raised fork even if it isn’t carrying anything. If you have any blind spots, make sure you have mirrors and/or back up cameras at your disposal.
Don’t Skimp on Training
When you first became a forklift operator, you received many hours of safety training. However, after years of working with this heavy equipment, it’s easy to forget those life-saving tips. So don’t skimp on the regular safety training your employer offers. It keeps the rules fresh in your mind and keeps you abreast of any changes or development in forklift safety.
Do Maintain Your Forklift
Perform regular checks of forklift to make sure it still works effectively and safely. What are you looking for? Malfunctions with the brakes, transmission, clutch or any other forklift operating systems. If the forklift gets damaged during your shift, it’s your responsibility to alert your supervisor so he can make the necessary repairs. Also, if you feel your forklift isn’t safe to operate – don’t!
At Labor Finders we take our associate’s safety on the job very seriously. Visit us to learn more and find your next job opportunity.