Forklift accidents can cause costly damage to warehouse equipment, but that’s not even the worst possible result. Data from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) indicates that 85 deaths and almost 35,000 serious injuries due to forklift accidents occur each year.
Reduce the risk of damage and injury with these five proactive tips for preventing forklift accidents:
Ensure Adequate Ventilation
People generally associate forklift accidents with mechanical operation, but forklifts also emit carbon monoxide at levels that can lead to poisoning. Make sure there is sufficient ventilation, especially if forklifts are used in enclosed areas.
Provide Secure Parking
No matter how busy the day is, forklifts should always be returned to their parking spaces with keys removed. This keeps the forklift from being an obstacle and prevents unauthorized use.
Conduct Regular Training and Inspections
– Train all new hires in proper forklift operation and continue to promote awareness and safety precautions.
– Schedule regular inspections and perform maintenance as needed.
Failure to observe these two practices can result in OSHA citations and fines.
Load Forklifts Correctly
Forklift loads should be balanced, with larger and heavier items on the bottom, and they shouldn’t be stacked too high. In addition, forklifts should never be used to raise employees to upper shelves.
Poor sight, operator error and driving off a loading dock are all common causes of forklift accidents. Make sure forklift operators have a clear path and nothing is obstructing their sight lines.
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