Forklift Safety Suggestions & Rules
In the US, 20,000 individuals are injured each year in accidents related to the use of forklifts. And each year around 100 deaths are caused by forklift accidents. Fortunately, correct training concerning operation procedures and maintenance can significantly reduce the risk of accidents. The basic safety rules and suggestions below should be followed when utilizing a forklift.
The employer is responsible for making certain that employees are certified to utilize a forklift and have undergone a correct training program. Training includes a combination of presentations, lectures, discussions and practical hands-on training. Reevaluation must occur every three years. Operators of forklifts have to be up-to-date with current forklift safety rules. Forklift training program content covers general workplace hazards, dangers of forklift operations, workplace surfaces and lighting, and dangers related to operating the specific forklift which the employee would be using. An employee should be at least 18 years old to utilize a forklift.
Forklift inspections should be carried out daily in order to ensure the proper and safe functioning of the machine. The inspection includes keeping a checklist of things and reporting any concerns at once.
The Work Place
Having a clean and safe workplace is vital in the safe operation of a forklift. A safe work site means establishing "traffic lanes" that are designated for forklift use only. Warning systems like flashing lights and horns should be in place to indicate when there is an approaching forklift. Forklift docking stations must be kept in good repair and inspected on a daily basis.
Included in the general safety guidelines of utilizing a forklift are respecting the load capacity of the forklift and never exceeding the maximum; avoiding known hazards on the ground, like wet spots or oil spills; ensuring there is enough clearance for the load; lowering or raising the load only while the forklift is stationary; and keeping legs, hands and arms inside the vehicle while using it.