National Forklift Safety Day, June 12, 2018
According to OSHA, about 100 people are killed and 95,000 injured every year while operating forklifts. Here are ten hazards and solutions to improve forklift safety.
1) Horseplay & Improper Use
Speeding, racing, sharp corner turns,and using the forklift in ways unintended are some things we see most commonly with untrained operators. Follow OSHA 1910.178 and put operators through a formal training program.
Keep non-essential employees out of forklift areas. Install boundary lights and rear spot lights to shine a colored visual warning. Operators must honk horn at the end of aisles and intersections. Install guard rails to section off walkways from forklifts.
3) Unsecured Loads
Loads must be properly secured. No loose loads higher than the backrest.Loads should not be off center or over the capacity limit of the forklift. Ask about attachment options such as carton and roll clamps for handling loads not on a pallet.
4) Lack of Maintenance
Broken lights and alarms,worn forks, stretched chains, chunked tires, and fluid leaks are problems that increase the risk of an accident and an OSHA fine. Equipment with these problems should be shut down until repaired. Set up a TRIM planned maintenance program to keep your forklifts regularly inspected and maintained.
5) Floor Conditions
Good housekeeping does wonders to improve safety and lower maintenance costs. Clean up wet/slippery areas and debris that can cause a forklift to skid. Repair cracks and pot holes that can cause a forklift to become imbalanced and possibly tip.
Operators must be trained to check the dock leveler and chock wheels of truck? and/or trailer before entering with a forklift. Sound horn when entering & exiting trailer. Confirm that the truck can handle the weight of the forklift with the load.
Keep heavy end up hill. Drive with load in front going up a ramp, and drive in reverse going down a
ramp with a load. Set parking brake and chock wheels if you must park on an incline. Never turn on ramps.
8) Over Capacity Loads
Attachments, load center, and lifting height alter a forklift's capacity. Properly trained operators should know how to read and interpret the forklift data plate.
9) Overhead Obstructions
Always travel with the load down, 6"-8" off the ground. Know your forklift's overall lowered height. Label the clearance under doorways and fixtures.
10) Seat belts & Tethers
Seat belts can save a life by keeping the operator inside the operator's compartment
of a sit-down forklift during a tip over. Tethers protect stock-picker operators from a fall. Make wearing them mandatory.
Contact us for your forklift safety needs.