According to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), as many as 62,000 injuries occur annually as a result of forklift mishaps. With each injury that receives medical attention costing an average of $188,00 in expenses and lost productivity, the impact on a business is clear.
How can you help workers avoid these costly incidents? DJ Products, makers of the electric Trailer Dolly, shares expert tips on recognizing and preventing forklift hazards.
1. Blind spots
Just as with any motorized vehicle, forklifts have blind spots where pedestrians and other obstacles are hidden from the operator’s view.
- Make sure employees keep a wide berth when forklifts are in motion.
- Ensure that forklift operators are trained in driving backwards, in case a load is too bulky for them to see over.
2. Improper maintenance
Don’t wait until a forklift is malfunctioning. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule.
3. Surface conditions
Ground obstructions, no matter how minor, can cause forklifts to veer off-course or even tip over.
- Ensure that warehouse aisles are free of pallets, debris and other obstacles that may interfere with a forklift. Clean spills promptly and clearly mark any trouble areas.
- Check warehouse floors regularly for bumps, holes and other surface irregularities and repair them immediately.
4. Overhead obstructions
Due to the nature of how a forklift operates, clear ceilings are just as important as clear floors.
- Are there any warehouse areas, such as aisles or doorways, that don’t have enough clearance to allow safe passage? Be sure that heights are visibly marked.
- If any objects are suspended from the ceiling, remove them if possible or mark their location.
The average weight of a forklift is 9,000 pounds, so it doesn’t have to be going fast to cause significant damage in a collision.
- Enforce safe speed limits and consider designating a lookout person so the operator is fully aware of the surroundings.
- Create a pedestrians-only zone.
Trailer Dolly and Other Material Handling Solutions from DJ Products
Our battery-powered Trailer Dolly is one of our full line of pushers, movers and tugs that help to improve warehouse safety. Call 800.686.2651 to learn more.