Forklift Safety is the most-used piece of office equipment. Lifting and moving oversized items needs skill and accuracy, which these industrial electric forklifts provide. Even though they are used, forklifts have the same dangers as any other heavy equipment. Training is essential because there could be more than a million forklifts in use.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration says that about 34,900 people are seriously hurt, and 85 people die yearly in forklift accidents (OSHA). Inadequate training is a major cause of 25% of these accidents. This shows how important it is for every employee to know how to use a forklift safely.
By looking at forklift training resources, you and your workers can be sure that safety is a top priority on the job site. Click on the links above to find out more about forklift safety.
- The OSHA rules about how forklifts can be used
- Safe Forklift Operation
- Why do forklifts cause so many accidents?
- Safe operations for people on foot and forklifts
- What can I do to make it safer to drive a forklift?
Get your forklift license as a first step.
Because not enough forklift safety training leads to many accidents, it is recommended that only people who have been trained and licensed according to OSHA rules should be allowed to drive a forklift. At least once every three years, there should be a performance review to reinforce the safety videos, lectures, software training, and demonstrations for forklifts.
Don’t cheap out on your clothes.
Forklift operators should wear boots with steel toes, hard hats, and vests with reflective strips. If you want to avoid getting caught on the forklift, tuck your clothes in.
Training to be a forklift driver
OSHA puts forklifts into several categories and subcategories. Because different kinds of equipment are made differently, have different weight limits, travel speeds, turning radii, and uses, it’s essential to know your equipment well to keep the highest safety standards.
Everyday Forklift Safety Checks
Before each use, forklifts should be carefully checked out. It is suggested that the shift supervisor be called every day so that any problems or faults can be found and written down. Only use a broken machine once it has been fixed.
These tests can take little time or be complicated. Here is a simple forklift safety checklist based on OSHA rules that can be used on construction sites.
- Check how the car’s different controls, like the brakes, lights, horn, and steering wheel, work.
- Make sure the mast and upper guard are in good shape.
- Check the air pressure and the amount of fluid in the tires (hydraulic, brake, engine, fuel and coolant).
- Check for leaks in the radiator, the water, or the oil.
- Check to see that the forks are in good shape (e.g., straight, with no cracks and no distortion).
- Watch out for any dangers.
When using a forklift at work, following all the rules and regulations is essential. It is crucial for your safety and that those around you keep a close eye on your job and its surroundings.
- Keep forks close to the ground so you can see best in front of you. When the weight of the load makes it hard to see, you should turn the equipment around. Always put the load on the rack so that you can see the rack. OSHA also says that the following are recommended practices:
- Keep your eyes on people walking by and your employees.
- Always keep your eyes looking in the direction you want, and use mirrors to help you see more.
- Always use your headlights when driving at night, outside, or when there isn’t a lot of light.
- On the OSHA website, you can find the rest of the suggestions.
Use a Floor Marking Scheme
Putting in place, a floor marking system could make workers safer. Yellow caution tape should be used to mark physical hazards, like places where people could trip or fall. Red tape should mark fire hazards, equipment, and emergency switches. It is a good idea to put up signs and pointers all over the site to make it easier for people to get around and keep forklifts from hitting people.
Protection for Forklift Safety Capacity
Check to see how much weight the attachments on your forklift can hold. Only try to move something with a heavy forklift. If you put too much on a forklift, the back wheels might lift off the ground. This could cause the forklift to fall over. The results could be dangerous for both the workers and the infrastructure.
Always check again to make sure you don’t have any extra passengers.
If your forklift has only one seat, no one on your team should ride with you while you drive. Lifting people is not what the forklift was made to do. You must have a safe work platform and a forklift safety cage when lifting a person.
Pay close attention to how stable the forklift
Before driving a forklift, ensure your hands and shoes are dry and choose a position where you can easily reach all of the controls. Before driving the forklift, you must ensure you are in the right place and take the following steps.
Each forklift and the load it moves have the same point of equal weight concentration, or “center of gravity.” The “stability triangle” is a three-point suspension system on forklifts that the driver must control inside the unit to keep it from falling over. Your forklift’s lifting power will go down as the load weight and the center of gravity distance from the load center goes up.
Make sure all of the loads are safe and stable.
Before taking the goods to the loading dock:
- Make sure they are all divided the same way. You can make the equipment more stable, especially when going up or down ramps, by moving with the load tilted backwards and the forks as low as possible.
- Make sure the pallets or skids you use are strong enough to hold the weight of the goods.
- Use ropes or bindings to secure any stacks or large loads.
Go at the Right Speed
Keep the forklift’s speed at the maximum allowed by law. Keep going, turn, or change directions quickly, and go slowly when making sharp turns, as this could cause the forklift to fall over. Never try a forklift jump from a sinking forklift. Experts say to stay in the car and brace yourself by putting your hands on the steering wheel and feet.
Keep a safe working distance
Suppose you were a. if you were a. If you don’t have to, don’t drive a forklift near other equipment. Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and any other vehicle. This will give you more room to stop if you need to and help you avoid accidents.
Stay away from areas with dangerous equipment.
Loads could fall on anyone standing or walking under a load, a piece of lifting equipment, or an attachment for a forklift. Stay away from the forklift’s mast, which could hurt you badly if you touch it while it’s moving.
Fill up the gas tank and charge the batteries on the forklift.
It is crucial to keep the fuel and battery well charged. Only certain places with enough airflow and no open fires should be used to refuel and relax. Always turn off the equipment before putting more fuel in it.
- At the end of your shift, please park the forklift in a safe place.
- When the shift is over, the tools must be back where they belong.
- The construction company ensures that the parking spaces don’t block any entrances or exits or get in the way of people walking.
- Set the parking brake, turn off the engine, take the key out of the ignition, and lower the forks to the floor.
Why do forklifts cause so many accidents?
Most accidents happen when the driver isn’t paying attention, the work environment is dangerous, or the equipment breaks down. Most forklift accidents are caused by people who don’t know what they’re doing. OSHA says that with the proper training, 70% of forklift accidents could have been avoided.
- According to the Industrial Truck Association, these are the main reasons significant forklift accidents that kill people happen.
- Accidents with forklifts are often caused by cars that have flipped over.
- Forklifts tip over because of things like unstable surfaces and dark forklift lanes, as well as because of mistakes made by the driver (such as wrong turning, driving with increased loads, and turning or halting too quickly).
- Safe operations for people on foot and forklifts
Since pedestrians are involved in more than 80% of forklift accidents, safety for pedestrians must be a top priority when driving forklifts.
What can I do to make it safer to drive a forklift?
Even though buying or renting a forklift from a reputable company with a track record of safety is an excellent place to start, the lift operator is the most important part of forklift safety. With safety training, operators can avoid injuries like death, lawsuits, OSHA fines for not following rules, loss of resources, expensive insurance and maintenance costs, and damage to the product. Studies by OSHA show that giving forklift operators the proper training could cut accidents by up to 30%.