Avoiding Forklift Accidents17 Feb 2014, by Forklift Training News in
How to Avoid Forklift Accidents
There’s more to forklift safety than yelling “Lookout!”
Forklift accidents cost employers hundreds of millions of sterling every year, and injure hundreds of thousands of workers. Safety officials tell us that one out of every 10 forklift drivers will be involved in an accident every year.
Here’s what a company needs to do to cut down on accidents.
- Common Sense
- Follow Safety Rules
- Keep work areas well lit
- Keep spills cleaned up
- Give operators breaks often to prevent fatigue
Training and Certification
In most countries a forklift driver must be trained and certified. Both classroom and hands-on training must be included in this instruction, and must be tailored to the facility and the type of machinery to be driven.
Once the training is complete evaluations must be passed, both written and on the job, with the business’s type of machinery, before the operator will be allowed certification.
Since pedestrians are the most injured accident victim, workplaces should establish separate driving and walking lanes, if possible. Walkways should never double as forklift roads. Trafficking and warning paint strips on the floor, and warning signs, should also help stop accidents. Flashing lights on forklifts are also a good idea. Train forklift drivers to slow down or stop at all crosswalks and to sound the horn often in the workplace. Pedestrians will always have the right of way, and drivers must be constantly reminded to maintain safe speeds at all times.
Install mirrors at strategic locations so that forklift operators can see oncoming traffic. Install barriers and railings to prevent impact accidents that might damage electrical equipment or sprinkler systems. Hang safety posters in break rooms and high traffic areas. Make sure eye protection and gloves are being used. Seats belts are just as important for a forklift driver as for any other type of vehicle operator.
Never exceed graded weight capacity, even a small amount, to prevent the truck from becoming top heavy and unstable. Keep the weight bearing load as far back as possible on the forks. Keeping a heavy load near the mast will center the forklift and add stability.
Unless the truck is made to hold more than one, only one should be riding. It is never goo, under any circumstances, to have another person on the forklift, even for a short trip.
Hands and Feet
Stay constantly aware of where you place your hands and feet during operation. Exposed gears and wheels can seriously injure hands and feet.
Don’t wait for an accident to occur. Constantly practice safety every day on every job, and encourage your team members to do so as well.