“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.