It is quite common in most workplace to find forklifts being used regularly. Currently forklifts are in operation more often than before.
The bad news is that forklift related accidents increase with forklift use in the place of work.
As an example the U.S department of labor’s occupational safety and health administration reports that there are about 100 deaths not to mention the numerous injuries caused by forklifts in an annual basis.
Most of these cases are however caused by lack of proper training, improper use of tools and the use of old and unmaintained forklifts by careless drivers.
Most forklift accidents lead to forklift pinning and crushing, causing damage to surfaces at work places.
To avoid these hazards from happening, there are a couple of malpractices to avoid in order to maintaining a safe work environment. Let’s look at those bad practices.
- Drivers using improper backing up techniques
- Workplaces having too many obstructions at doors and intersections
- Lack of proper maintenance of the forklift truck
- Inappropriate packing practices of the forklift
- Having shared tasks with poor communication at work places
- Giving unnecessary rides on the fork lift
- Poorly stacked loads that are heavy and unstable on the forklift
- Lack of safety devices on the forklift with poor control layout that cause malfunction
These malpractices reveal the importance of having the right safety measures put in place to prevent forklift truck related accidents.
Let’s now look at some of the best practices that can help prevent hazards especially when operating a forklift in places of work.
Practice proper packing
It is important to allow yourself sufficient time to park the forklift safely. A well parked fork will help prevent accident that might occur such as an individual walking into it. Also be sure to remove the keys after parking to avoid any accidents.
Make sure that the workers operating the forklift are well trained with all the safety procedures of the machine.
Apart from the dangers that can happen when a forklift is operated without proper training, there are also hefty charges to be paid.
Be sure to have proper ventilation as forklift emit carbon monoxide. This gas is poisonous especially when released in an enclosed work area.
Make sure the forklift is being driven in an open workplace to avoid carbon monoxide gas hazards.
The most common cause of forklift related accidents is when the driver decides to drive carelessly or under the influence of alcohol. About 7 percent of forklift accidents are caused by the driver and this might be due to control issues or inability to see properly
Loading the forklift
Another common cause of forklift related accidents is improper loading. A forklift can easily tip over if the load is loaded incorrectly. It is also risky to elevate an individual using a forklift.
In conclusion, forklift accidents can be unpredictable as they happen anywhere and at anytime.
But fortunately with these few recommendation and best practices, these accidents can be significantly reduced thus creating a safe workplace for everyone.