Forklifts are popular commercial vehicles often used to move pallets and other inventory from one place to another in a warehouse. While seemingly innocuous, forklifts are a vehicle, and employees should understand the risk involved with operating them so that they know to follow safety rules diligently. In 2020, over 7250 serious accidents occurred using a forklift in the workplace (and an additional 70 deaths). Start with these forklift safety tips all employees should follow in the warehouse.
1. Receive Proper Training
All forklift operators must go through the proper training. In some states, forklift operators must get a formal certification. During training, employees will learn the mechanics of the forklift, safe driving practices, and forklift maintenance. No employee should drive a forklift until they complete the required training. Operators will likely be required to renew their training after a certain number of years, as well.
2. Wear Safety Equipment
Wear the proper clothing when operating a forklift, including full pants and boots. You can't wear anything that can potentially get caught in the machine. You may also need to wear safety goggles and a helmet, depending on the location and the environment. The goggles will protect your eyes from dust and flying debris.
3. Always Remain Alert
Forklift operators must remain aware of their environment at all times to avoid preventable collisions and hazards. A good forklift operator will examine the environment in advance to look for potential hazards and remove them before driving. The operator should also drive at a safe speed and take corners with caution.
Under no circumstance should someone operate a forklift while impaired. Alcohol and illicit drugs can impair a person's ability to drive safely. Even prescribed medications can cause a problem, so talk to your doctor before going to work on medication.
4. Report Accidents Immediately
If an accident does happen, it's important to report the incident to a superior immediately. The company must have the ability to assess the situation to ensure that the operator and the other employees are working in a safe environment. Failure to report an incident can lead to consequences at the workplace, and it can negatively impact workers' compensation settlements.
A warehouse doesn't need to be a dangerous place to work as long as management trains employees properly, and employees adhere to the training they receive. Finally, everyone has a responsibility to keep the area a safe place.
For more info about commercial industrial vehicles, contact a local company.