According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, there were over 7000 non-fatal forklift injuries every year between 2011 and 2017. There were also 614 fatalities. This shows that forklift-related accidents are very serious, and every forklift operator, whether experienced or not, can make a mistake and should be extremely careful when operating the machine.
Many forklift accidents can be avoided if the set rules and guidelines are followed. Some mistakes occur as a result of negligence, miscalculations, and lack of attention and training.
Take a look at some of the common mistakes made by forklift operators and avoid them if you want to record zero forklift accidents or incidents.
Lack of Training
Forklifts can be very dangerous if operated with an untrained driver. During training, operators are taught how best to pack the forklift, how to use the levers, securing the load, and more. The operator should be trained on the safety and proper handling of the machine with a trainer who meets all the OSHA certification requirements.
Poor or Lack of Inspection
It is a requirement that every operator should carry out a thorough inspection before they can use the forklift. This includes checking if the truck has the certificate of thorough examination as per the LOLER regulations
Before starting a shift, the operators should check the controls, slings, lifting chains, and brakes. They should also ensure that the lifting equipment is well maintained.
Lack of Communication
Several forklift accidents occur when someone is hit by the vehicle. Maintain clear communication while you operate the lift so that you can alert your coworkers where you are, especially if they are not able to see you or when you are blinded with the loads you are carrying. Ensure that the reverse sound and all signals are working.
Experience forklift operators can tell you that driving and operating a forklift is not as easy as it looks. There are several blind spots that make even otherwise simple maneuvers quite complicated. This is why they work with a signaler who directs them with hand signals and warns them of any hazards. It is very important to have assistance when working with loads.
Not Knowing the Truck’s Capacity
Operators need to know their truck’s weight capacity and the weight of the load they’re carrying to determine if the forklift truck can safely carry it. Forklifts should never be overloaded because it can cause it to overturn, and this is very risky to the people around it and the vehicle itself.
Every Forklift Operator Should Ensure Safety
When it comes to forklifts, every forklift operator should note that safety always comes first. Remember, always to use the forklift in the right terrain and drive at the right speed.
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