Top Mistakes to Avoid While Operating a Forklift
Each and every year, forklift-related accidents result in hundreds of workplace injuries throughout Canada and the U.S. With international forklift safety day coming up next month, we’ve compiled a list of common mistakes to watch for while operating a forklift:
Insufficient or Improper Training
Every company is responsible for ensuring that only competent and properly trained individuals operate a forklift. While a wide array of 3rd party training programs currently offer forklift safety and awareness certification, these courses do not include the practical training necessary to operate a forklift. Once an employee receives their safety and awareness certificate, it is the responsibility of the employer to provide supervised training on the equipment in question and in the specific environment where it is being used.
Failure to Pay Attention to Surroundings
Some of the most common workplace accidents involving forklifts occur when a hapless operator makes incidental contact with racks, shelves, guardrails and other obstructions (YouTube’s Forklift Fails). For this reason, it is essential that you pay close attention to your surrounding and note any potential obstructions or hazards. Using a forklift with an open view mast helps to reduce potential blind spots while increasing visibility.
Operating Defective Equipment
Safety awareness and accident prevention needs to begin before an operator starts, or even enters, a forklift. Perform a pre-operation inspection on your machinery to spot loose hoses/fittings and other safety hazards before they become an issue or result in equipment failure.
Whether it is driving too fast, being aggressive with an elevated load or coming too close to platform and ramp edges, reckless driving greatly increases the likelihood of accident. Always be aware of your surroundings, the dangers associated with operating industrial machinery, and never engage in risky behaviours for the sake of effort or expediency. For a more detailed look, check out this post on forklift speed limits.