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Articles Forklift Accidents - Forklift Safety Tips

Forklift Accidents - Forklift Safety Tips

Principal Author / Publisher:Safetyhow Admin
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An extremely useful machine, the forklift can turn out to be extremely dangerous if operated by someone who is not properly trained. In this article, we shed light on some forklift safety tips which should be followed to avoid accidents.

A forklift is a small industrial vehicle featuring a projected fork which is inserted under the load to lift and move it from one place to another. Forklifts are commonly used in factories and huge warehouses, where huge loads have to be moved regularly. These machines prove to be very useful when it comes to loading or unloading goods, to or from other carriers.

Forklift Accidents Most of these accidents are attributed to inadequate training provided to the operators, or their inexperience in handling such machines. A forklift overturning from an upright position is the most common cause of accidents, wherein either the operator himself or some other worker gets injured. At times, the workers working around tend to injure themselves by coming in between this machine and load or wall. Though rare, the chances of workers ending up being caught between two machines cannot be ruled out.

In a few cases, people get injured or even lose their lives after being run over by the machine. Then there are instances wherein workers get injured due to some load falling on them, or they themselves falling on the fork. According to the data compiled by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), a government agency in the Department of Labor, forklift accidents claim 85 lives every year in the United States, and leave 34,900 individuals with serious injuries and 61,800 individuals with minor injuries.

Forklift Safety Tips

Not just the workers working in the vicinity, but even the forklift operator himself is vulnerable to mishaps which can cause minor or severe injury, and even result in death. Forklift safety rules stress on lawful riding, speed limits, unauthorized operations, proper signals, and load carrying capacity. Most often, accidents occur when these rules are not followed properly.

Only drivers who have attained training in safe operation of such machines should be employed or allowed to operate forklifts. Being careless in this aspect can make you pay a heavy price.

The machines should be properly checked every day and if any problem persists, it must be promptly attended to. Never operate an unsafe machine, as you may put yourself as well as other people's lives at risk.

You should continuously monitor the direction in which the machine is heading. While turning, you must stop and have a look, and move only when everything is clear.

Give necessary signals, such as sounding the horn when approaching an area where people are working. More importantly, the driver has to follow the basic regulations such as the speed limit.

Never try to raise or lower the load while the machine is on the move. Drive at the restricted speed while the forks are loaded.

The driver shouldn't carry riders unless the vehicle has a passenger seat. Allowing people to ride on the machine, especially on the forks, can lead to some serious trouble.

Never exceed the loading capacity of the machine. The load on the fork should be properly balanced. When the forks are empty, make sure they are lowered and tilted back.

Extra precautions need to be taken when working on a ramp or congested area. Never try to turn on ramps. Keep an eye on overhead clearance as well.

When not in use, the machine should be properly switched off. The brakes should be set and the forks should be lowered completely.

Accidents are unfortunate mishaps which may take place anywhere, forklift accidents are no exception. Though they can't be totally prevented, it is possible to minimize them by providing proper training to the operators, taking some safety measures, and resorting to the presence of mind.

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