It’s a sad fact that serious injuries and death commonly occur throughout Australia as a result of a lack of Forklift Training. Many of these accidents could likely have been avoided with the proper training and updating of skills for employees who operate forklifts.
Following the proper procedures and ensuring the correct maintenance of forklifts, while ensuring a clean and hazard free working environment all contribute to the minimisation of risks.
While there are sure to be some incidents that are difficult to predict and prevent, the following lists the ways in which forklift safety can be optimised.
Correct training of the forklift operator
When it comes to operating heavy machinery such as a forklift, the proper training and licenses are essential.
Untrained forklift operators are at a much higher risk of being involved in an accident than those with the proper training and tickets. If there are changes in a workplace, such as a change in inventory items or a new layout of the area, an untrained operator may not have the know how to compensate for such adjustments.
Things such as different driving surfaces, weather conditions and gradients are all factors that can influence safe forklift operation. By ensuring that all forklift operators are up to date with their training, the risk of accidents greatly decreases.
Avoid shortcuts in the workplace
Along with employees, employers should also display and enforce their own set of safety rules for the workplace. An efficient and fast paced workplace may be the desired outcome, but it should not come with shortcuts.
Simple factors such as the enforcement of speed limits and taking corners too quickly should be followed, along with the correct training of those who work around the forklifts.
It’s important that a forklift’s load is as close as possible to the ground with adequate clearance, and that there are no employees hitching rides on the forklift, or attempting to balance loads with their bodies.
Broken pallets, unstable loads, and exceeding the forklift’s load capacity are equally dangerous malpractices that should be avoided.
Warehouse and forklift maintenance
A poorly maintained forklift is just as dangerous as a driver without adequate training. All forklifts should be serviced regularly with the proper documentation kept up to date and readily available.
Things as simple as worn brakes, broken or missing mirrors and tire tread can all cause trouble.
Along with the maintenance and upkeep of forklift’s, also comes the cleanliness of the warehouse itself. Making sure that the warehouse has adequate lighting, is free of dust and debris are all considerations to make for the complete safe operation of a forklift.