How To Prevent Forklift Accidents
Forklift trucks are fantastic resources for the modern warehouse, but preventing forklift accidents is essential. These machines are responsible for 1,500 accidents per year, with 3 in 10 of those being in the transportation and storage sector. Like any vehicle, they come with their hazards and therefore adequate training is key to the safety of the operator and pedestrians around.
So whilst forklift trucks help us move heavy loads and transport goods with total ease, it is critical that we stay on top of forklift safety and do all we can to prevent forklift truck accidents.
In this article, we will discuss the most common forklift hazards and how you can help in preventing forklift accidents.
1. The Forklift Topples Over
An uneven surface or unbalanced load is typically the culprit of this first forklift truck accident. The truck loses its centre of balance and can tip laterally or forward if the load weight is the problem.
Naturally, this can seriously injure both the operator of the forklift and anyone who is around the machine. It also creates an obstruction to forklift drivers around the toppled truck, increasing the likelihood of more accidents to come.
How can I prevent a toppling truck?
As with a lot of forklift accidents, it comes down to insufficient training. You should always ensure that operators are fully caught up with forklift training and know how to load their trucks safely. This includes learning about the weight capacity of knowing to strictly adhere to loading regulations.
2. Pedestrian and vehicle collision
Next, we have pedestrian and vehicle collisions. As with any vehicle, pedestrians can be a huge hazard when operating a forklift truck. Warehouses are often busy, bustling with workers going about their day. However, when a forklift collides with a pedestrian it can be fatal and cause a nasty accident.
This typically happens due to the forklift operator not being aware of their surroundings and not using their rear mirrors correctly but can also happen as a result of forklift speeding.
How can I prevent a pedestrian and vehicle collision?
Again, the key lies in effective forklift training. Not just the operator, but all those around them in the warehouse. With the correct training, it is believed that up to 70% of forklift accidents could be prevented.
Get your men and women up to speed, and hopefully, your warehouse won’t see any collisions.
3. Racking Failure
This might be the most severe forklift accident on our list, with hundreds of videos recorded and uploaded online showcasing the effects of this hazard. See this example below:
This video is exactly why the correct preventative measures should be taken. As you can see the accident is devastating and severely injured several people.
How can I prevent a racking failure?
The worst forklift accidents tend to come from a lapse in the concentration of the forklift operator. This can have devastating effects on the operator and the staff around them, which is why it is important to have effective employee screening and up-to-date training.
By doing so, you are able to filter out employees that could potentially cause these hazards.
Only by educating are we able to prevent forklift accidents.