By Tom Reddon
There are several things employers can do to encourage their employees to follow proper safety precautions. Forklift accidents are a major concern in most companies as they end up resulting in serious injuries. More importantly, inexperienced forklift drivers are often the cause of most common form of injuries, but there are several other reasons these accidents occur. What can you do about these concerns and ensure your staff and warehouse is safe? Here are some tips to follow for proper forklift safety.
Focus on education
Several forklift concerns occur because drivers are not properly educated. If you are not taking the time to educate your staff on the serious risks associated with forklifts, they can easily become vulnerable to an accident. Accidents can occur when people are failing to pay attention; others happen simply due to a lack of experience and knowledge. If there ever comes a time when your machine starts to malfunction, you’ll want to make sure you have someone at the wheel who is confident in their knowledge and lift truck abilities.
While an experienced forklift driver may have several years operating machinery, the forklifts you use could be completely different than what they are normally accustomed to. It helps to have forklift machinery training so everyone knows how to manage the forklifts and use them appropriately. Employees must be aware of the different mechanical parts of the forklift, and most importantly, they need to know the ins and outs of every single control. Have each forklift operator spend a certain number of hours with the forklift before they are allowed to operate it on their own. Training with a manager is a great way to make sure they know what they are doing, and can handle the forklift if there is a problem.
Collisions with pedestrians are a major cause of accidents in the workplace as well. A forklift operator must be conscious of the people around them at all times. Everyone must attend safety courses where they can learn how to operate the machine, but to also learn how to be aware of their environment. Given that a warehouse can be, at times, a very hectic and busy place, safety training is an essential part of forklift operations to avoid any accidents involving your fellow co-workers. It helps to have safety training so people learn how to be aware of pedestrians, and know what to do in the event of someone getting injured by the forklift.
Plan on having your employees attend safety and training courses yearly. This is the best way to help people become aware of things they can forget over the years. It helps them to learn about the equipment they have been using as some people can easily forget how things are supposed to work.
A great way to train people on safety is by implementing and utilizing signage. The right signs will help a forklift operator go in the right direction when they are driving, and it helps the pedestrians to know where they need to go to stay out of the way of the forklift. Use these five tips to make sure your forklift operators and pedestrians stay safe. With the right training, you can drastically reduce workplace accidents related to forklifts.
Tom Reddon is a forklift specialist and blog manager for the National Forklift Exchange
. He also sits on the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) Executive Dialogue team. Follow him on Twitter at @TomReddon