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Forklift accidents are a big deal with over 10,000 accidents having to do with forklifts occurring each year.
These accidents are reported to cause over $100 million dollars in lost revenue annually. On top of these sad facts, forklift accidents also cause around 100 fatalities each year. There are some necessary steps to take to avoid any and all forklift accidents.
1) Setup and Enforce a Forklift Training Program:
Good, honest training will go a long way in preventing accidents involving forklifts. Each employee who will be operating a forklift should go through an Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) approved training course to obtain their forklift certification card. An OSHA approved training course generally includes classroom, as well as practical, training and should give forklift operators the necessary know-how to safely operate a forklift. It is imperative that training be done at each forklift operators place of employment to see whether or not that operator will be able to handle the intricacies of their work environment. Forklift certification is given only when a forklift operator meets the necessary guidelines.
For those that will not be directly operating forklifts, train them how to stay out of the way. Unfortunately, many forklift accidents are brought about by workers misunderstanding each other or disregarding certain guidelines and safety procedures. Be open and honest with all workers, share the statistics, and warn them accordingly.
2) Survey The Forklift Working Environment
Scrutinize every aspect of the building that forklifts operate. Find any possible “danger spots” for accidents and send out a work order to get those spots fixed immediately. This may involve painting warnings on the floor, or setting up temporary gates or chains. Even with the proper training, a fork truck operator can not be blamed for a hazardous work environment. Be realistic and imagine every possible incident that may occur in every “danger spot” you find.
Paint, with bright colors, lines where forklifts are known to travel most and put out literature for all workers to read on safety guidelines. Simple steps like these will help a workplace stay safe and not end up a statistic.
3) Strictly Enforce Your Forklift Safety Program
This is the final, and toughest, step. Be strict with employees. Do not let any act of silliness or ignorance slide. Remember that 100, of the 10,000, forklift accidents reported each year are fatalities. Many other accidents involve permanent dismemberment – forklift accidents are serious business. It is far better to fire or demote someone than to let them continue with behavior that might lead to death when working around forklifts.
Follow these steps and have peace-of-mind that all employees are trained well and working to ensure forklift safety to avoid forklift accidents.
Tens of thousands of work related injuries are reported each year due to forklift accidents. These accidents have not only cost companies in excess of 0 millions but have resulted in taking the lives of hundreds of employees.
Forklifts are required in almost all industries. However, it can also be one of the most dangerous equipment if it is not handled properly. The forklift related accidents can be attributed to lack of safety rule enforcement, lack of proper operating procedures and inadequate training of the workers. OSHA claims that employees get injured when trucks are inadvertently driven off the loading docks, struck by a lift truck, fall or crushed.
One fact is that these accidents related to forklift could have been avoided. The following steps would let you know how you can prevent this occupational hazard and protect your workers:
* OSHA Safety Training: OSHA’s main mission is to prevent occupational injuries, illnesses and fatalities by enforcing and issuing standards for workplace safety and health. With forklifts being one of the leading causes of occupational accidents and injuries, OSHA has mandated every employee handling forklift must get a certification to operate it. If an operator is not certified then, the company is liable to face a penalty up to $7,000. So, being trained in the OSHA forklift standard will save you big time.
* The operators must get a training that fully complies with the OSHA regulations. A forklift training includes different areas of study. The OSHA safety training will meet the requirements and provide a detailed info on how to operate the forklift properly, how to complete daily checklist and so on. Once the training is completed, the participants will receive the certificate and they can start to operate the forklift.
* Modify Work Environment: It does happen often that innocent pedestrians get struck by forklifts. An operator must be extra cautious when they are operating between pedestrian traffic. They must slow down, stop at all crosswalks and blow the horn. You must always maintain a safe speed all the time.
* Install Accurate safety Items: Install mirrors at corners where vision is often limited to see the oncoming traffic. Barriers or railings must be installed to prevent it from having a big impact with items like electrical equipment or other utilities. Posters should be posted in break rooms and other high traffic areas in the workplaces. Drivers should be provided with proper PPE like eye protection and gloves and the forklifts must be equipped with seat belts ad safety seats.