Is forklift safety a priority in your warehouse? According to OSHA, there are one million forklifts in use around the United States and they’re involved in 20,000 serious injuries each year. Here are tips to minimize risk of the top dangers of this popular warehouse equipment.

1. Turnovers

Forklift turnovers are usually a result of overload, unbalanced loads or traveling with the fork too high.

– Require drivers to wear seat belts at all times when operating a forklift.

– Train employees in optimum methods of stacking loads.

– Slow down when turning as well as when traveling across wet or slippery surfaces.

– Keep the load uphill when going up or down inclines and ramps.

2. Striking Pedestrian Employees

Pedestrian employees can be struck directly by forklifts, or indirectly by objects that have been hit by forklifts.

– Restrict specific aisles to pedestrians only or forklifts only.

– Avoid operating forklifts near time clock, break rooms, exits and other areas where pedestrians tend to congregate.

– Locate workstations away from aisles and safeguard with physical barriers when necessary.

– Pedestrians should also take responsibility for being aware of their surroundings and moving out of the way if they encounter a forklift or hear a horn or backup signal.

3. Crushing Workers

Approximately 16 percent of forklift fatalities occur when the vehicle crushes a worker.

– All passengers must be in a seat with the seat belt engaged.

– Never allow anyone to ride on the fork itself.

– Drivers should inspect their route carefully for potential hazards and obstructions.

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