Forklifts are highly-beneficial workplace vehicles. As long as they are used by trained and competent operators, they are next to none when it comes to usefulness. With that said, forklifts can also be dangerous when utilized irresponsibly or incorrectly. According to various research, forklifts account for 25% of injuries at the workplace. Workplace accidents involve people being hit or run over by forklift trucks. Due to their enormous weight and size, injuries sustained from such accidents can be severe. They may also cause hefty damage to the workplace itself. And that is why appropriate guidance and enough training are required to use forklifts correctly.
Whether you own or lease a forklift for work purposes, you must ensure that it is safe and suitable for its intended uses. Technically, the law requires that workplaces should maintain conditions that are safe and without risk to health. And thus, vehicles like forklifts must be kept secure and safe all the time.
Why Is It Important to Understand Safe Forklift Use?
Alongside the wide range of benefits that you can get from forklifts, there are also a lot of security measures to look out for. Owners must always be aware of the risks that come with using forklifts in warehouses. Always remember that before any employee takes control of a forklift, they should be trained following OSHA requirements. This includes a proper training program for all the employees that incorporates general principles of safe operation, the types of forklifts used, and any dangers created by using forklifts and powered industrial trucks.
Moreover, trained forklift operators must know how to do the job safely, as demonstrated in a workplace evaluation. This where companies must implement formal and practical training for their forklift operators. This may include using some lectures, videos, and software training. Not only that, but it may also involve written materials and practical demonstrations. By that, employers must certify that their operators have all the necessary training. Also, the operator’s evaluation should be taken at least once every three years. The employers must test the operator’s performance and then deem them competent. This is required for lift trucks and other machines.
Additionally, implementing a floor marking system for everyone’s safety is a must. As per OSHA’s basic rules and regulations for effective floor marking, permanent aisles and passageways must be marked. The 29 CFR 1910.144 of OSHA emphasizes the standard guidelines for outlining safety color codes. In this, red and yellow are the designated safety color codes for physical hazards. Red is for fire-related hazards. On top of that, it may be used for emergency switches, bars, and buttons on dangerous machines. Meanwhile, yellow designates caution and is used to mark physical hazards. It includes tripping, falling, and any caught in-between incidents.
What Are the Preventive Measures to Keep in Mind?
Prevention is always better than cure. This includes operating forklift trucks for business purposes. You need to always think of ways you can maintain a safe and secure workplace for everyone.
Make sure that the load is balanced and secure.
Before you start operating forklifts within your working area, always check load conditions. It helps you reduce the possibility of your forklift tipping over. Thus, providing you with a safer and more secure warehouse management.
Pay attention to speed limit indications and warning signs.
Operating forklifts is similar to driving vehicles on highways. You need to be aware of the speed limits, floor markings, and warning signs to prevent accidents. Keep in mind that there are several people at risk if you do not follow the rules and regulations.
Use horns at intersections and pedestrian areas.
It is important to use horns near accident-prone areas, such as intersections and pedestrian lanes. This is to make sure that people are made aware that forklifts are currently operating in the area. These horns may also serve as appropriate warning signs for everyone at work.
Always look in the direction you are traveling.
Aside from the different warning signs, you must also pay attention in the direction you are traveling. There are instances that you might encounter load blocks. Hence, you can keep yourself safe, as well as the forklift free from any damage.
Know the areas where forklifts are prohibited or restricted.
There are areas wherein huge machinery and vehicles are prohibited. You might cause trouble and disturbance if you are not following restrictions. This will not just benefit your own safety but your fellow workers as well.
Awareness and mindfulness within your facility will go a long way in ensuring safety and protection. Luckily, you can seek professional forklift providers to learn more about maintaining safe forklift practices. Your trusted material handling specialists from Forklift Select will be more than willing to assist you in getting the information you need. Visit us at https://www.forkliftselect.com/ now!