The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) estimates that forklift accidents are causing over 34,000 serious injuries and nearly 100 fatalities every year. Even more shocking is that 25 percent of these accidents were attributable to inadequate training, which shows the importance of educating every operator on the rules of using the forklift safely.
Organizations can ensure forklift safety is through continuous training, so it’s crucial that every company has a detailed training program for new employees and that they repeat the training for current workers regularly. According to OSHA’s requirements, the training should include:
- Formal Instruction
- Practical training
- Evaluations and tests
Improperly operating a forklift can result in accidents, property and product damage, and lawsuits against your company. Following OSHA regulations and adopting strict training rules and regulations at your plant will help to prevent accidents.
Because of the disturbing statistics associated with forklift accidents, businesses must implement best training and practices to help mitigate the possibility of one of their workers becoming a victim of these potentially dangerous machines.
Here are some of the essential tips for forklift safety:
Make sure every operator has certification
So many accidents occur because of poor training, so anyone who operates a forklift must be trained and licensed following OSHA standards. You should be evaluating your operators’ abilities at least once every three years. Supplement their hands-on training regularly with lectures, videos, software training, and demonstrations.
Train them for the type of forklift they will be using
There are many different forklift types and classifications, and each one has its unique structure, weight limit, traveling speed, turning radius, and usage. Your operators must understand their equipment so that they can follow the best safety practices.
Ensure that they wear the proper clothing
Forklift operators should be dressed in suitable safety attire, which would include a high-visibility jacket, hard hat, and safety shoes. Everything must be tucked in since loose clothing could get caught on the forklift.
Operators should be taught how to inspect their equipment
Forklifts should be thoroughly inspected each day before they are used. Any problems need to be identified and logged. Any forklift that requires repair should not be operated under any circumstances.
Some of the items that should be checked include:
- Brakes, lights, horn, and steering wheel
- The mast and overhead guard
- Tire and all fluid levels
- Check for leaks
- Make sure the forks are in top condition
Hire your next forklift operator fully trained
The Resource has completed the National Safety and Health Certification program to train employees to be forklift operators. The program includes both classroom and hands–on training at our dedicated facility. Companies can also rely on us to conduct training for their full–time employees!
The Resource has been helping employers find forklift operators (and many other types of workers) for 40 years. Our expert staff can assist you in finding the right fit for your organization. That’s why we’re one of the top employment agencies in North Carolina.