As per the recommendation of OSHA or the Operational Safety and Health Administration, around 100 employees pass away every year due to forklift accidents and mishappenings, and approximately 95,000 forklift accidents take place annually. In a lot of cases, such accidents could be completely avoidable by following simple yet effective safety strategies. One such tool is using daily forklift safety checklists that are designed by keeping safety in mind to enforce safety protocols to protect pedestrians and operators. Let’s look at the advantages of using daily forklift safety checklists within your organization to keep your employees safe:
Daily checklist for forklift operators
When your operators use a forklift, you need to follow all regulations, signs, and rules of the worksite. Here are some of the finest practices that can help you in protecting your employees and observing your operating environment on the worksite.
Get forklift certification
As a lot of accidents are caused due to inadequate training, it is suggested that only people who have been licensed and trained as per OSHA standards should be liable for using a forklift. Employers need to evaluate the performance of their employees once every three years and complement training with demonstrations, practical training, software training, videos, and lectures.
Wear proper clothing
Forklift operators need to be appropriately dressed with safety equipment, such as a high-visibility jacket, hard hats, and safety shoes. Ensure that they tuck away any loose clothing before operating a forklift to avoid it from getting grabbed on the forklift.
Know the forklift class
OSHA identifies a lot of various forklift classifications and types. As each kind of forklift has its usage, turning radius, traveling speed, weight limit, and structure, it’s essential to understand your equipment to follow the most reasonable safety practices.
Inspect the equipment every day
Forklifts need to be thoroughly examined before every use. The shift supervisor should perform daily checks while operators should log and identify any defects or problems that may come up so you can keep a check and get them fixed. Any equipment that needs to be repaired should never be used. Here are some recommended checks:
- Test operating controls like steering wheels, horns, lights, and brakes.
- Check overhead guard and mast for damage.
- Examine the fluid levels such as coolant, fuel, engine, brake, and hydraulic, and the tire conditions.
- Check for radiation, oil, or water leaks.
- Ensure your forks are in satisfactory condition. There should be no distortion or cracks.
- Keep an eye on any potential hazards.
Always maintain 360° visibility
Keep the forks down on the ground to deliver clear forward visibility. Ensure that the load does not restrict the visibility of the operators in the forward or the reverse direction. Always make sure that you have a suitable view of your rack once you are setting the load. Some other practices recommended by OSHA are:
- Ensure that your operators can make adequate eye contact with other workers and pedestrians.
- Always glance in the direction that you are traveling in.
- Utilize a rear-view mirror to enhance visibility.
- Employ a headlight if your operators need to work at night or in areas that have dim lighting.
Set up a floor marking system
Floor marking systems could help you greatly increase worker safety at the site. You can use a yellow color to mark physical dangers, such as areas that are prone to stumbling or falling, and red to outline emergency switches, fire equipment, and fire hazards. Place signs and wayfinders throughout the area to keep your pedestrians far from the path of the forklift, lead forklifts through safe routes, and enhance the general flow of traffic.
Maintain the capacity of your equipment
Be mindful of your forklift’s capacity and the attachments being used. Avoid carrying a weight that surpasses the equilibrium of the forklift. If you overload a forklift, it can push the rear wheels off the ground while also making the machine fall over and has the potential to cause harm to any personnel working on the site and damage materials and equipment.
Never carry extra personnel around on the forklift
Do not allow anyone to ride the equipment with the operator unless your forklift has an extra seat fitted. Avoid using the forklift to give people lifts as they are developed to carry loads. If you have to lift someone, only use a protected work cage and platform.
Forklifts are a typical sight in a lot of industries. Whether you are thinking of retail applications, manufacturing plants, warehouses, or somewhere else, forklifts are an important tool that helps you streamline the supply chain and daily operations of your business. Due to the frequent use of forklifts, a lot of pedestrians and operators could get complacent due to safety protocols. This could have a lot of ill effects such as death, injury, fines, employee discipline, and asset damage. Using daily forklift safety checklists could be an efficient solution to keep pedestrians and your forklift operators safe.