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Staying Safe with Forklifts

“According to the 2015 edition of the National Safety Council… 67 workers died in 2012 due to injuries sustained from a forklift” – Safety and Health Magazine

It many seem like a relatively safe operation, but the improper use of a forklift can potentially cause sever consequences. The most frequent accidents are a result of driving at unsafe speeds, driving with an elevated load, improper warning sings, horseplay around the vehicle, and not keeping the forklift in good working order. Below is a general list of the Do’s and Don’t’s of driving a forklift.

The DO’s of forklift operation:

  • Always perform a visual and operational check before use.
  • Know the blind spots.
  • Stay alert for anything blocking your path when driving.
  • Keep a safe distance from pedestrians and workers
  • Use back-up alarms, warning lights and mirrors.
  • Stay in the forklift in the event it overturns. DO NOT attempt to jump off.
  • Inform your supervisor immediately if you encounter any problems with the vehicle.

The DON’T’s of forklift operation:

  • Operate with the load raised more than 4 inches.
  • Leave the forklift running unattended.
  • Let unauthorized employees operate the forklift.
  • Allow anyone to walk underneath an elevated load.
  • Exceed the recommended weight limit.
  • Block fire exits or stairways with the forklift or load.

When in doubt, slow down, stop, or ask a supervisor. It never hurts to be overly cautious.


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