For The Love Of Forklifts: 3 Tips To Keep Workers Safe
Having access to a forklift can be a convenient way to move goods around your warehouse. Since a forklift makes it possible to move heavy loads in a single trip, you can reduce the amount of time that it takes to fill a tractor trailer or relocate pallets of goods to a storage facility.
Unfortunately, the convenience of a forklift comes with some dangers. If you want to ensure that your workers remain safe at all times while sharing the warehouse with a forklift, here are three safety tips to keep in mind.
1. Make sure workers wear orange safety vests at all times.
The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) estimates that over 11% of all functional forklifts will be involved in an accident at some point throughout the year. There are an estimated 85 fatalities, 34,900 serious injuries, and 61,800 non-serious injuries caused by forklifts during an average year.
By ensuring that your workers all wear brightly colored orange safety vests when sharing the warehouse with a forklift, you ensure that your workers will be visible to forklift operators. This visibility will help prevent accidental forklift-pedestrian collisions from taking place in your warehouse in the future.
2. Only allow certified employees to operate a forklift.
While it may look easy, operating a forklift takes a significant amount of knowledge and skill. If you want to ensure that the forklifts inside your warehouse are operated safely at all times, you should only allow certified employees to operate forklifts. Not only is this a great way to keep employees safe, but the law mandates that only certified employees can operate forklifts.
OSHA provides a training program that gives new operators 8 hours of classroom instruction and experienced operators 4 hours of classroom instruction to ensure that safety regulations and hazards are understood.
3. Conduct routine vision and hearing tests for forklift operators.
Being able to see and hear fellow employees is essential when it comes to the safe operation of a forklift. To ensure that your forklift operators are contributing to a safe work environment, it can be beneficial to invest in routine vision and hearing tests.
These medical tests will help you determine which employees are physically capable of operating a forklift without placing the safety of other employees in the warehouse at risk.
Having a forklift in your warehouse is good for business, but these machines can be involved in serious accidents. Be sure that your employees wear safety vests, that only certified employees operate forklifts, and that all forklift operators pass routine vision and hearing tests in order to increase the safety level in your warehouse in the future. For more information, contact a professional like those at Independent Lift Truck Of Alaska.