Safety Tips For Forklift Drivers
Each year, thousands of accidents happen in workplaces involving forklift trucks. Whilst many of these do not lead to serious injuries, the number of those hurt in such incidents is still significant. In the US alone, 85 people die every year in forklift accidents, whilst a more conservative figure was seen in the UK in 2013, with just 6 fatalities arising. However, whilst fatality rates are declining in the UK, more still needs to be done. As such, once you have found the perfect forklift for your needs, it will then be wise to think about which safety precautions are most suitable for your business to ensure you do not add to these alarming safety statistics.
Adequate training will go a long way in helping to keep your employees safe in environments where forklift trucks are used. Whilst it may seem as though very little will change over the years, not only might best practices very much evolve over time, but it is also very easy for forklift drivers and those around them to become complacent as time goes by, getting used to the usage and presence of such vehicles. In turn, when problems do arise, it can be very easy for one to forget their training if they have not been on regular refresher courses.
However, training alone is not going to be enough to keep individuals safe, and whilst those operating trucks will need to know how to do so safely, those in management positions will also need to understand and enforce the safety rules governing the use of such vehicles. If management let small issues slide, it will be easy for drivers to take liberties without realising the dangers they are presenting.
Trucks should also be checked on a regular basis to ensure that they are fit to be driven and will not be the cause of an accident in their own right.
Once the right training has been offered to drivers (on a regular basis), it will still be important to offer a list of safety tips to those driving forklifts. At Trucks Direct UK, we fully understand the importance of finding the right truck and using it in the correct way. Below, we have compiled a list of the most important safety tips to consider when forklift trucks are concerned. By clearly displaying such a list and ensuring people regularly take the time to refresh their knowledge, the chances of accidents occurring will be significantly reduced.
- All operators need to be properly trained.
- Appropriate clothing should always be worn.
- The right truck should be chosen for a given workspace in terms of size, load capability and fuel.
- Equipment should be regularly examined and maintained.
- Speed restrictions should be strictly enforced.
- Forklifts should not be started until the driver has checked the controls and is seated correctly.
- Forklifts should only be driven in designated areas.
- Drivers should constantly be aware of their surroundings and have excellent visibility at all times.
- Hazards should be well marked and avoided.
- Loads should be kept stable and secure.
- Safe stopping distances should be understood and observed.
- Loads should be thoroughly checked and evenly distributed before they are moved.
- Trucks should be used responsibly to carry designated loads only.
- Pedestrians should always avoid walking under or near the forks.
- Forklifts should never be overloaded under any circumstance.
- Trucks should be parked in designated areas when not in use, with the key removed.
- Forklifts should not be left unattended whilst engines are running.