Forklifts are handy tools that are able to make work a lot easier. However, forklift accidents can be incredibly dangerous, both for the operators and anyone else nearby.
As with all vehicles and machinery of this type, training is incredibly important in ensuring that the tool is used correctly. It also ensures that the safety of everyone around is upheld.
Let’s take a closer look at why forklift training is so important.
Why Is It So Important?
Fatalities and Injuries
Forklift safety is important for a variety of reasons. First and foremost, forklifts can be deadly. In fact, a 2018 U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) report states that forklifts are responsible for an average of 85 deaths per year, with many more people being injured.
Forklifts are also one of the leading causes of accidents in the workplace. The most common type of forklift accident is a collision between the forklift and another vehicle or pedestrian. These accidents often result in many types of injuries including broken bones, lacerations, and even death.
In addition to the risk of injury or death, forklift accidents can also lead to costly property damage and much more. In fact, the average cost of a forklift accident is quite big.
A forklift injury can cost as much as $40,000. This includes the compensation given to those people injured, as well as the expenses for medical fees and legal services if any.
In addition, a forklift accident can also result in $150,000 in indirect costs. These include things like lost productivity, hiring replacements, and the crippling effect of lowered morale in the company.
Most Common Forklift Injuries and Accidents
One of the most common forklift injuries is a rollover. These accidents often occur when the forklift is carrying a load that is too heavy or is not balanced properly. When this happens, the forklift can tip over, causing the operator to be thrown from the vehicle.
Hitting Other People
Next up, operating this useful yet dangerous vehicle can hit other people. These accidents often occur when the forklift operator is not paying attention to their surroundings or if they are not properly trained in how to operate the forklift.
There are many possible injuries. They include broken bones, wounds, head injuries, and many more.
Another common type of forklift accident is a load falling off of the forklift. This can happen if the load is not properly secured or if the forklift is not driven correctly. These accidents can result in serious injuries, including broken bones and head injuries.
People who are working with or around forklifts also run the risk of being crushed by them or their heavy loads. Again, this all boils down to an awareness problem. If the driver is not aware of their surroundings, these accidents can definitely happen. In addition, people who aren’t properly trained in operating a forklift can make these mistakes as well.
Oftentimes, being crushed by a forklift or its load can lead to fatal consequences.
Another common type of forklift accident is a blocked sight. This can happen if the operator is not paying attention to their surroundings or if they are not properly trained in how to operate the forklift.
This type of accident will often result in the other types we have just listed above. If a forklift operator can’t see where they are going and fails to take the proper precautions, then it could result in people being crushed, rolled over, or falling loads.
Forklift Training Benefits
Despite the dangers forklifts pose, there are many benefits to taking training courses on the forklift.
One of the most important benefits of forklift training is that it can help to lessen the number of deaths caused by forklifts. By teaching operators how to properly use and maintain their forklifts, they will be less likely to cause an accident that could result in death.
Understand the Machinery More
Another benefit of this type of training is that it can help operators to better understand the machinery they are using. By gaining a better understanding of how their forklift works, they will be less likely to make a mistake that could cause an accident.
Learn the Best Practices
In addition to understanding the machinery more, another benefit of taking forklift training courses is that operators can learn the best practices for using their forklifts. By learning the proper way to use their forklifts, they will be less likely to make a mistake that could cause an accident.
Increase Productivity by Lessening Downtime
Another benefit of this training is that it can help to increase productivity by lessening downtime. When operators are properly trained in how to use their forklifts, they will be less likely to cause an accident that would require the forklift to be taken out of service for repairs.
Make Workers More Confident
The final benefit of this training is that it can make workers more confident in their ability to operate their forklifts. This confidence can lead to increased productivity and fewer accidents.
Tips for Forklift Safety
Now that we have discussed why safety when operating or working around a forklift is important, let’s look at some tips for safety.
Always Wear the Proper Safety Equipment
One of the most important things you can do to stay safe while operating a forklift is to always wear the proper safety equipment. This includes things like gloves, steel-toed boots, and a hard hat.
Inspect Your Forklift Before Use
Another important tip for safety is to always inspect your forklift before use. This includes things like checking the tires, making sure the brakes are working and checking the hydraulics.
Don’t Overload Your Forklift
A common mistake made by forklift operators is to try and lift more than the forklift is rated for. This can lead to serious accidents and should be avoided at all costs.
Be Careful When Driving on Slippery Surfaces
When driving a forklift, it is always a good practice to avoid any slippery surfaces. This includes things like wet floors, ice, and oil. This could cause the forklift to lose control and cause injuries or fatalities.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
One of the most important things you can do to stay safe while operating a forklift is to be aware of your surroundings. This means always being on the lookout for people, obstacles, and other hazards.
Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions
Our final tip for forklift safety is to always follow the manufacturer’s instructions. This includes things like proper maintenance, correct operation, and safety procedures.
By following these tips, you can help to ensure your safety while operating a forklift. Remember, forklifts are powerful machines and should be treated with respect. If you take the time to learn about the forklift and follow the proper procedures, you can help to prevent accidents and injuries.
Efficiency and Danger
Forklifts are powerful tools that are designed to make certain tasks easier and more efficient. However, this machine also brings with it dangers that could lead to injuries, fatalities, and unwanted costs to the company.
This is why forklift safety is very important. All forklift operators would greatly benefit from forklift training.
When working with and around forklifts, it is always best to stay vigilant. While we hope that no injuries take place, it is always best to stay as prepared as possible. With first aid training, you can give critical care when they are needed.
Learn more about first aid with CPR First Aid’s Liverpool course.