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8th June is celebrated as National Forklift Safety Day each year. As the name suggests, this event promotes the safe use of forklifts and the importance of proper operator training. It is an opportunity for the industry to educate customers, employees, and the public about safe forklift operations.

The history of forklifts in the USA dates back to 1917. The annual US forklift sales are more than 190,000 units. A forklift is an important vehicle to lift, move and place material across warehouses and other industrial facilities. However, it can’t be denied that forklifts accident causes nearly 34,000 serious injuries and more than 80 deaths per year. And 25 percent of these accidents are caused by inadequate training and poor handling, highlighting the importance of educating every worker on the safe forklift operation.

What is Our Approach to Forklift Safety?

National Forklift Safety Day reminds us to be safe and cautious while operating a forklift. At CFE, our top priority is the safety of our customers every day. That’s why we are always open to provide forklift safety consultations for customers.

If you use forklifts, we suggest the following ways you can observe National Forklift Safety Day to minimize the odds and severity of accidents caused by forklifts.

Train and Certify your Operator:

Forklift Operator

The expertise and alertness of your driver determine forklift safety. In fact, many forklift accidents are caused by poor handling of the vehicle. Schedule reoccurring operator training programs to make sure your operators are certified, trained, and experienced. You should assess your forklift operator’s performance at least once every year.

Wear Proper Gear:

A forklift operator should be equipped with safety shoes, hard hats, and high visibility jackets. Make sure to tuck away loose outfits to prevent them from getting caught in the machine. Make sure your operator wears a seatbelt while operating a sit-down forklift, as overturned forklifts are a top cause of forklift-related accidents.

Conduct a Daily Equipment Inspection:

Make sure to inspect the forklifts before every use. Ask your forklift operator to do daily checks to detect any problems or defects. Don’t operate the equipment that needs repair. Some of the important checks are…

  • Testing brakes, lights, horn, steering wheel, and other controls
  • Checking mast and overhead guard for damage
  • Checking tire and fluid levels
  • Looking for oil, radiator leaks, and water
  • Checking cracks and distortion
  • Checking for potential hazards

Creating a Floor Marking System:

Floor marking provides visual cues such as lines, signs, and shapes on floors to divide spaces, highlight potential dangers, direct traffic, outline storage locations and convey important safety information.

Floor marking signage can provide warnings to a forklift operator for speed limits and other hazards, they can separate the pedestrians from the drivers by keeping them both on the right path.

A floor marking system is also important for worker safety. Yellow can be used to mark physical hazards, such as areas vulnerable to stumbling or falling, and red to show fire hazards, fire equipment, and emergency switches. Green, blue or black can be used to show the work-in-progress.

Install way-finders and signs across the site to alert pedestrians when they are on forklift paths. A floor marking tape should be used to create visual sidewalks to let pedestrians know where it is safe to sand.

Avoid Carrying Extra People:

Don’t let other workers ride the vehicle with an operator unless there is a second seat in the forklift.

Move Forklift at the Right Speed:

Avoid stopping, turning, changing directions suddenly, or moving fast when making sharp turns. Such actions can lead the forklift to tip over.

Avoid Carrying Larger Weight than the Vehicles Capacity:

Avoid carrying excess weight that is larger than the counterweight of the forklift. Otherwise, it can make the rear wheels rise off the ground and the entire vehicle to fall over.

The Bottom Line:

We understand that your workers, operators, and other people feel safe and secure while working in forklift environments such as warehouses. However, warehouse safety reviews are not always a top priority for all warehouses, making them prone to accidents.

Keep in mind that forklift safety is an ongoing process involving continual safety audits and training. Apart from keeping forklift operators safe, forklift safety programs are also meant to increase awareness among pedestrians.

What do you think? Let us know by commenting below.