Forklifts, if used properly, can be one of the most important equipments in your work area. However, accidents could still occur when operating a forklift. This is why forklift training should be a part of the operator's contract to ensure safe operation and guarantee equipment maintenance.
Importance of forklift training
- Accident Prevention:
According to statistics, there are 20,000 injuries and approximately 100 fatalities associated with forklift accidents each year.
- Avoid OSHA penalties:
In 2003, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reported over 3,000 violations associated with industrial trucks. This resulted in a total of almost $2 million penalties slammed to various companies.
- Guarantee forklift safety precautions:
When you do this, not only can you ensure the operator's safety, you will also prevent being fined with safety rule violations by the OSHA. In early 2011, OSHA fined one company $76,000 just for forklift safety violations.
Who should undergo forklift training?
Obviously, the forklift operator should be training with the safety guidelines and maintenance. However, every employee who works around the forklift trucks should be aware of the safe operations and basic maintenance in order to avoid accidental injuries.
The OSHA recommends each company who handles forklifts to hold a seminar on the basics of forklift safety. Make sure that all employees attend the seminar, especially those who may be affected by forklifts directly or indirectly.
Be aware that even trained forklift operators could benefit from this seminar. Since the OSHA takes safety precautions on forklifts very seriously, make sure that your employees take safe forklift operations seriously, too.
What should be included in the forklift training?
While forklifts can become a daily part of your operations, remind your employees that these heavy-duty trucks could cause serious injuries when certain safety guidelines are overlooked.
In the forklift seminar, make sure your employees understand these points:
- Operating forklifts could cause a wide range of accidents from colliding with objects or people to dropping heavy loads. Forklifts could also topple over and become a possible fire hazard when being refueled.
- Make sure that the operators abide by these simple guidelines every day. a) Do not exceed the load capacity, b) ensure the loads are balanced on the forks, c) do not allow anyone to ride as a passenger on the forklift, d) ensure that no one is standing under the forklift when the forks are raised, and e) refrain from smoking or using any fire-hazardous materials when the forklift is being re-fueled.
With these guidelines, remind your employees to be attentive for possible forklift hazards and report them to the head of operations immediately. This will prevent any possible injuries, OSHA violations and additional costs.