When it comes to material handling equipment, most warehouses aren’t complete without forklifts. These compact but powerful vehicles are also involved in thousands of injury accidents each year.
Here are some of the more common causes of forklift accidents and how they can be prevented.
Lack of Training
You wouldn’t consider hiring a truck driver who didn’t have the necessary training, and forklift operation should be taken equally seriously. Provide appropriate training that must be completed by employees before using a forklift.
Malfunctioning equipment, such as failing brakes or jammed forks, often leads to accidents. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and remove old forklifts from service.
Broken pallets or poorly stacked loads can result in unstable forklift operation or hazards from cases falling off the fork. Instruct employees in the correct methods of loading forklifts so the pallets are balanced and the driver’s vision isn’t obstructed.
Forklift operators should follow the same safety precautions used when driving any vehicle.
– Maintain a safe speed.
– Seat belts should always be fastened when forklift is in use.
– Use caution when backing up.
– Always check for obstructions in the path of travel.
– Passengers should be sitting in seats, not on the load or on the fork itself.
Keep aisles, intersections and doors free of obstructions. Set up workstations away from the aisles and lay out clearly marked walkways.
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