Did you know there are over 34,900 serious injuries from forklift accidents each year? Forklift safety mistakes don’t just cost companies time and money, they can cause extreme pain and suffering for employees.

We compiled 5 common forklift safety mistakes that every operator needs to be aware of to prevent being a part of that statistic. Many job sites rely on forklifts for vital tasks, but lack of training can lead to disaster.

Keep reading so you can better protect yourself, your employees, and keep the job site running.

1. Not Knowing Load Capacity

Overloading a forklift is a guaranteed way to make the vehicle unstable. Be aware of your forklift’s capacity before beginning operations and don’t test its limits. Every forklift has a data plate that will list its load capacity.

Ensuring you have the right tool for the job is the first step in avoiding any forklift safety mistakes. There are countless options for forklifts, ensure you have the proper equipment before any work begins.

2. Lack Of Training On Common Forklift Safety Mistakes

One of the best things a workplace can do is enforce operator training. Equip your employees with knowledge on best practices and identify common safety mistakes and how to avoid them.

It is worth spending time upfront training operators than having costly downtime partway through a job due to injuries or damages. Signing employees up for forklift training is forward-thinking and the best prevention possible.

3. Speeding With a Forklift

Moving at an inappropriate speed is a common cause of accidents on forklifts. Operators should always be watching their speed and pay close attention to any speed bumps or debris on the ground.

For some workplaces, it is worth investing in forklift speed limit signs so operates know what is a safe speed in each area.

4. Operating a Forklift That Wasn’t Inspected

Even if a forklift was recently used, without a proper safety inspection, issues can go unnoticed until it is too late. Most workplaces will have specialists who are responsible for servicing forklifts. But every operator should take the time to inspect their vehicle before use.

Identifying issues prior to use can prevent catastrophe once the forklift is loaded and moving. There are excellent safety checklists to follow when inspecting your forklift.

5. Not Communicating With Those Around You

Warehouses rarely have no one else working when forklifts are being operated. It is vital to communicate with those around you about your route and task with the forklift. Likewise, it is good to ask nearby workers if they plan to move into your planned path before starting.

Do not get so focused on your task that you do not see or speak to your fellow staff members. No one should be surprised by the forklift’s movements and the operator should never be surprised by fellow employees moving nearby. 

Operate With Confidence

Every operator should feel confident behind the wheel of their forklift in order to avoid these forklift safety mistakes. If they do not, then it probably means more training is needed.

Forklifts are essential to countless workplaces, and this list hopefully made yours safer. For all your forklift needs, from training to rentals, contact us today