Forklifts are an extremely useful piece of machinery that finds its use across various industries. It helps in increasing operational productivity and reduces the workload of the employees. These heavy-duty industrial trucks help in lifting and transporting huge loads with great precision. However, forklifts’ use and operation involve considerable risk, just like any other industrial machinery. Currently, over 1 million forklifts are in use across various industries. The majority of the accidents involving a forklift are a result of improper operation and lack of training. You can see more at Forklift Safety Solutions to keep your team members safe and improve their efficiency.
According to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration estimates, forklift accidents lead to around 35,000 injuries and 100 accidental deaths every year. Even more shocking is the fact that a large number of these accidents are due to insufficient training. It clearly shows the need for training and educating workers on safe forklift operations. If your workplace’s safety is your topmost priority, then training forklift operators will help keep your team members safe. The following section discusses some essential tips to ensure forklift safety.
Ensure Safety Of The Employees At The Time Of Operating A Forklift
Typically there are three significant dangers of forklift operation within an industry:
- Chances of fatal accidents increase several-fold when forklift operators do not follow safety precautions. Likewise, pedestrians should also be aware of the safety precautions when working close to a forklift.
- There are higher chances of collision between pedestrians and forklifts when pathways in storage areas do not have proper markings.
- The heavy loads on a forklift may tip over if the operator fails to properly insert the forks under the pellets. Unsecured and imbalanced loads cause the majority of the accidents. Also, injuries occur when the operator drives the load higher than the recommended height.
Use Of Proper Floor Markings For The Safety Of Workers
Floor markings play a crucial role in creating aisles and improving workflow within a shop. Following are some of the benefits of using floor markings.
Floor Markings Help Create Clear Pathways And Aisles
Pathways and aisle markers help alert workers about the forklifts. It creates separate paths for the movement of machinery and pedestrians. Some manufacturing industries make use of printable tapes for directing traffic.
Identification Of Accident Prone Areas
Floor markings help recognize potential dangers in places like warehouse doors, docking areas, and potentially hazardous places. This is an easy precaution to put forth but quite effective in conveying caution messages.
Offers Safety Training For Forklift Operators
Every forklift operator must receive training as per OSHA standards. Employee training programs for industrial machinery operators focus on safe operation, potential hazards of operating industrial machinery, safety requirements, and different machinery types in a workplace.
Always Check For Hazards Before Operating A Forklift
It is essential to check the tires and oil levels of a vehicle before heading out for a long journey. Forklift operators must conduct a complete inspection to make sure that their machine is safe to be used. Following are some essential inspections.
- Check that the forks are straight and do not have any cracks.
- Test the condition of tires regularly
- Ensure the horn, lights, breaks, and steering wheel are functioning appropriately.
- Check for oil and fluid levels.
- Look around for uneven surfaces, obstructions, potential hazards, and overhead obstacles.
Improve The Overall Safety Of The Industrial Unit
Take necessary steps to improve the overall safety of the industrial unit. It will ensure that the workers and forklift operators are safe.
Workers should always look out for imbalanced or unsecured loads, stay away from restricted areas, listen to horns, and alert forklift operators of any obstruction.
Learn To Use Visual Communication
Operators and workers should learn to use safety signs and traffic control signs effectively. Everyone should know the meaning of aisle markers, safety labels, and signs within a factory.
Make Use Of Lockout Devices
Proper application of safety equipment prevents accidents during maintenance and servicing.
Use Proper Safety Gears
A forklift operator should always wear appropriate safety clothing comprising hard hats, safety shoes, and high visibility jackets. Always tuck away loose clothing as it might get caught on the forklift.
Following the preventive measures mentioned above will surely help in reducing fatal accidents due to forklift operation. You must always keep an eye on the operators’ performance and train them regularly to ensure the workplace’s safety.