Ensure drivers are properly trained and capable of operating forklift vehicles safely.
Forklifts play an important role in the day-to-day operation of warehouses and plants, but lift trucks, reach trucks and tow motors have the potential to cause serious injury or even death to their operators, other workers and pedestrians. Every year there are reports of workers being crushed by tipping vehicles, hit or run over, struck by falling materials or falling from a platform on the forks.
There are many reasons forklift accidents occur, including: inadequate training of operators; driving at high speeds; lack of proper tools, attachments and accessories; poor maintenance; age of the forklift; and not using seatbelts.
Employers are responsible for providing training and ensuring drivers are fully aware of the operating procedures. Forklifts have a limited lifespan and they require regular servicing. It’s also important to keep the working environment clear.
Forklifts have the potential to cause serious injury. By sharing the responsibility employers and operators will ensure lift vehicles are used safely.
This article was contributed by the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS). The Hamilton-based organization provides information, training, education, management systems and solutions that support health and safety programs in the workplace.