Forklift Safety

Public Attitudes towards and Experiences with Workplace Safety Prepared by Dr. Tom W. Smith at the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago for the Public Welfare Foundation published in August 2010 found that 85% of workers said workplace safety was ranked very important amount labor standards.

One of the leading causes of workplace death and injury involves a forklift. Nearly 100 employees are killed in forklift accidents and 20,000 are injured every year.

The top four leading types of accidents are:

-forklift overturns

-worker gets struck by forklift

-worker falls from the forklift

-worker is crushed by forklift

How can these types of accidents be prevented, proper training is a great place to begin!

Training has three parts:

¢ formal instruction such as a lecture, discussion, interactive computer learning, videotape and or written material;

¢ practical training which includes hands-on demonstrations by the trainer and exercises by the trainee (on the model of forklift the worker will use);

¢ an evaluation of the effectiveness of the training by observing the operator's performance while doing actual work using the forklift. This evaluation must be repeated at least once every three years (must be at workplace).

Refresher training must be given if the operator has been involved in an accident, near miss or unsafe operations. Also, if an operator is assigned to a new type of forklift or if workplace conditions change that could affect safety, then refresher training is required.

Always remember a forklift is a powerful tool and when used by a well-trained operator it is a safe and effective tool. It helps to move materials and can reduce the risk of back injury by eliminating the need to lift and carry items by hand.

To prevent your workplace from adding to these statistics:

¢ Use the appropriate forklift and attachments based on the driving location, size of load, and potential for hazardous atmosphere.

¢ Make sure that forklift operators are given formal instruction, hands-on training and periodic evaluation as required by OSHA regulations.

¢ Observe forklift operators in their daily work and take prompt corrective action to correct careless or unsafe operations.

¢ Maintain forklifts in safe condition free of defective or missing parts through daily visual checks and regular preventive maintenance