Understanding Common Safety Issues With Industrial Forklifts

According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), about 85 people lose their lives because of forklift accidents. Additionally, about 34,900 are seriously injured due to forklift accidents. Some of the commonest forklift fatalities include tip-overs. Here are some common safety issues with forklifts you should know to keep your workplace safe.

Visibility is an essential aspect when working with forklifts. It improves processes and limits collisions that can lead to equipment and property damage. Good visibility makes operators aware of what is around them. Additionally, it eliminates the need to hire a spotter for guiding forklift operators through blind spots.

You should buy forklift blue light to enhance visibility in your workplace. Operators make better decisions and drive safely around machinery, other trucks, equipment, and storage racks with good visibility. Other operators can notice a coming forklift with blue light to prevent collisions. The blue light glides on the floor around 15 feet behind or ahead for pedestrians and other operators to realize an approaching truck.

Inappropriate operator training

A forklift operator is responsible for moving loads using a forklift. The operator requires appropriate training and evaluation regarding handling a particular class of equipment. OSHA requires forklift operators to get certification before operating the truck. Certification is mandatory to lessen the chances of accidents and injuries that might result from poor handling.

Forklifts carry weighty loads. So, the safety of the operator and other employees in the workplace is a big consideration. Forklift certification ensures that the operator has the skill and experience to handle the truck safely. Certification ensures the risk of injury, property, or equipment damage and encourages job stability. Hiring certified forklift operators benefit business owners through:

  • Safer workplaces
  • Lower insurance rates
  • Limited lawsuits
  • Protects company reputation
  • Boost in staff morale

Failure to use seatbelts

OSHA requires forklift operators always to wear a seat belt. There’s no exception to this requirement. Wearing a seatbelt is always a safety precaution to protect the operator, bystanders, and colleagues. Apart from coming in handy during accidents, failure to comply with this requirement comes with a hefty fine or penalties.

As the operator is strapped safely in his seat, there’s no chance of trying to jump out of a tipping truck. Trying to jump out is more dangerous than just keeping still inside the truck. The operator is less likely to jump far enough or jump through the doorway opening. This is likely to make the operator end up with severe injuries during a tip over.

Exceeding load capacity

Some forklift operators make the mistake of loading the truck beyond its capacity. This leads to exceeding the truck’s load capacity causing the truck to be off its stability triangle. The forklift becomes unstable, leading to tipping over with the potential to cause serious injury to the operator. There’s also a risk of dropping the load leading to significant damage.

It also promotes speedy wear and tear, leading to downtime. Avoiding such situations requires sticking to the truck’s load capacity. Additionally, the operators should regularly check the truck’s data plate to determine the load capacity. Loading the truck securely is also very important to avoid the chances of the load dropping off.

Floor conditions

The floor condition is essential for the safe operation of forklift trucks. Operating during hazardous conditions come with a risk of accidents. The presence of grease, water, or oil on the floor comes with a chance of skidding. Additionally, driving a forklift on uneven areas or gravel makes the forklift prone to tip over.

Overhead Hazards

In the workplace, structures such as overhead lighting, doorways, and sprinklers can become hazards for forklifts. Operators need to check the surrounding area to make sure that such risks don’t exist. You have to ensure clearance of about 10 inches away from overhead power lines. For more energized lines, you have to give more clearance.

Poor arrangement of loads

All forklift loads should be secure and balanced. Doing this limits them from dropping while the truck is moving. In case the load drops, there’s a risk of severe damage to the load, equipment, or structure. Additionally, there’s a risk of causing severe injuries to pedestrians.

It is essential for operators always to undertake a pre-operation inspection before every shift. The check allows discovering leaks, damage, or other unstable conditions that might contribute to forklift failure. Finding faults early allows avoiding property damage, injury, and loss of lives in difficult situations.

Forklift safety is an essential requirement for business owners. It is necessary to understand potential risks that might make your workplace unsafe.

Operators who don’t check their forklift for damage, leaks, or other unsafe conditions, may invite equipment failure, property damage, injury, or even death. Solving issues like poor visibility by investing in safety lights will keep your workplace safe and meet OSHA guidelines.




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