If your business uses forklifts, it is vital that both you and your staff are familiar with all the safety rules and regulations associated with doing so. Having this training and knowledge is vital, as it can prevent serious accidents and injuries on the job.
Continue reading to review the top safety tips for operating a forklift, and then share this knowledge with your team to promote a higher level of workplace safety.
Forklifts generally weigh more than two or three tons, and achieve speeds of 10 mph. So it is no surprise that without proper knowledge and training, a person can put themselves and others in grave danger. In fact, operating a forklift is such a serious responsibility, it requires professional certification. To obtain a forklift permit, an individual should attend a school, take courses, be trained under OSHA standards and pass examines. Furthermore, these permits require renewal every 3 years, making the forklift operation learning curve an everlasting one.
Forklift Safety Review
As the employer, it is important to take every precaution necessary to prevent workplace accidents; and forklift safety reviews are on such precaution. Below are the top 5 forklift safety tips that your staff should know and practice at all times.
#1 Forklift Operators Must Be Certified
The most important rule is to make sure that only certified staff members are operating the forklifts. Unqualified employees should NEVER use a forklift under any circumstances. For those who are certified but still lack experience, it is encouraged to have them supervised while operating forklifts.
#2 Always Do a Pre-Inspection Before Each Use
Another important part of forklift safety is to ensure your forklifts are in good condition before each use. Forklift operators should always do a full inspection before turning on the machine, paying close attention to areas like the brakes, steering, controls, mast, tires, and warning devices.
#3 Always Wear the Proper Protective Gear
Forklift operators should never operate a forklift unless they are wearing the proper clothing and personal protection gear. This includes a hard hat, goggles, safety shoes, and a light-reflective jacket. Furthermore, loose or poor-fitting clothing should never be worn while operating a forklift.
#4 Always Make Sure the Load is Secured
Before using a forklift, operators should always double-check the cargo to ensure it is stable and secure. The cargo should be loaded properly and well-balanced. Improper cargo weight can cause forklifts to tip over or lose their load, putting others at serious risk of injuries.
#5 Maintain a Safe Speed at All Times
Forklifts are not go-karts, and should not be driven as such. Operators should always maintain a safe speed, even when they are not carrying a load. Although the average forklift doesn’t exceed 10 mph, this speed is more dangerous in a small space, making it easy to lose control of the machine.
Legal Help for Injured Employees
If you are an employee who was recently injured on the job while operating a forklift or other type of heavy construction machinery or by an a person operating a forklift or other type of heavy construction machinery, it is important to talk to a workers’ compensation lawyer for help understanding your rights. If the person operating the forklift or other type of heavy construction machinery was not a co-employee, you may be able to bring both a worker compensation claim through your own employer and an third-party liability claim against the employer of the forklift or other type of heavy construction machinery.
Contact the Law Office of Craven, Hoover, and Blazek P.C. at 317-881-2700 to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your workplace accident with a seasoned Indiana personal injury lawyer you can trust.