Did you know there are over 1 million forklifts in operation across the nation? Forklifts are an invaluable tool across just about every industry. They allow for the easy maneuvering and transporting of goods within warehouses, stores, and trucks. As beneficial as they are, forklifts are also among the most dangerous equipment pieces in the workplace.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that there are about 110,000 forklift accidents each year. Accidents typically fall into one of three categories: environment, inadequate training, or environment.
Let’s take a look at 5 keys to improving your company’s forklift safety.
1. Provide Comprehensive Forklift Training
Thoroughly train each employee on how to operate the forklifts at your facility safely. This includes understanding the common forklift hazards (e.g., unsecured loads, tipping over, colliding with pedestrians, etc.). Make sure each employee stays current on their training, which must be reinstated every three years.
Ensure all safety resources are well within reach and offer new training courses if new equipment or features are introduced.
2. Pre-Operation Inspection
Before use each day, operators should perform a thorough inspection of the machine. Your checklist should include checking the:
- Tire pressure
- Oil level
- Radiator leaks
- Turn signals
- Damage to the forks or machine in any way
Have employees sign off on the checklist daily to ensure accountability.
3. Wear Proper Clothing
Make sure forklift operators wear appropriate clothing, which includes:
- Close-toed shoes
- High visibility vests or jackets
All loose clothing and hair should be tied up or tucked away to prevent them from getting caught in the machinery.
4. Keep the Area Free of Clutter
Although forklifts can turn on a dime and are meant to work in small spaces, they still need adequate room to operate safely. Do your best to keep the floors free of clutter and items from hanging off shelves that could potentially get caught on the forklift as it passes by.
5. Develop a Floor Marking System
Pedestrian accidents are among the most common type of forklift incidents. A well-marked floor that clearly defines separate paths for forklifts and pedestrians will increase employee safety. Be sure to replace markings as needed to ensure high visibility.
Ready to Hire Your Next Forklift Operator?
Arrow Staffing is the leader in Michigan forklift staffing. Our staffing specialists will leave no stone unturned when finding the perfect candidate to fit your personnel needs. Contact us today for more information on how we can help you with all of your staffing needs!