Work environments in which forklifts operate on a daily basis require trained and certified drivers. Employees driving these forklifts need to go through OSHA-approved training and receive the proper certification to legally get behind the wheel. Although safe forklift operating begins with OSHA certification, it doesn’t end there. These effective ways to prevent forklift accidents should be put into practice by employees every day.
Maintain a Clean Work Environment
Forklift operating zones need to be clean and organized at all times. If clutter accumulates in the middle of the forklift operating zones, a driver may not be able to spot it in time. This can cause them to make erratic maneuvers to avoid the clutter, which can lead to the forklift bumping into a machine, product, employee, or toppling over entirely. Additionally, if the operator does spot any obstructions soon enough to avoid them, the amount of time and effort put into maneuvering around it will throw a wrench into workplace efficiency.
Keep Loads Stable
The key to keeping forklifts upright is by maintaining the forklift stability triangle. It’s one of the most important guidelines forklift operators can remember because without keeping it in mind, forklifts can fall over and damage property, as well as hurt nearby employees. To keep loads stable, employees have to maintain careful speeds and turning maneuvers, keep the fork and loads low to the ground, never exceed the vehicle’s carrying capacity, tilt back the mast and forks, and of course, securely load the products on the forks in the first place.
Carry Out Regularly Scheduled Maintenance
Just like any piece of industrial equipment, forklifts require regularly scheduled maintenance to function to the best of their abilities. All forklift operators need to know the maintenance schedule for their vehicles. Plus, they must always inspect their trucks prior to driving them, each and every shift. That way, they can spot leaks, poor tire inflation, damaged forks, and other issues that need to be promptly fixed before the forklift can operate in the field.
As long as employees keep these effective ways to prevent forklift accidents in mind daily, they can sustain an efficient and safe workplace. Getting comfortable in a workplace is a good thing, but getting so comfortable that you’re not following proper safety precautions is not. In fact, it’s commonly recommended for workplaces using forklifts to regularly provide refresher training courses for operators. That way, vital information such as the tips above are always fresh in their mind when they’re carrying out day-to-day tasks.