Many employees, especially those who work in a warehouse setting, regularly operate a forklift. Even if you’re not qualified to use this type of equipment, forklifts may still be used around you throughout the day.
A forklift is one of the better ways to improve efficiency on a job site. Unfortunately, this type of equipment has the potential to be involved in many types of accidents, all of which can cause serious injury or death.
Here are seven important forklift safety tips to follow at all times:
- Only qualified operators should use a forklift: Proper training and a license to operate a forklift is not a suggestion, its mandatory.
- Inspect forklifts before use: Even if you’re familiar with a particular forklift, don’t assume it will always be in good working condition. Inspect it before use for defects, damage and missing parts.
- Never exceed the lifting capacity: This is a common mistake responsible for many forklift accidents. Some people do this knowingly, to save time. Others, however, make an honest mistake. Either way, it’s a risk you should protect against.
- Follow all worksite regulations: When forklifts are in use, there are rules and regulations that come into play. For example, other people on the worksite should keep their distance from the vehicle.
- Remain attentive at all times: This means many things, such as avoiding hazards, alerting others that you’re moving and keeping a safe distance from objects and people.
- Wear your seat belt: Just the same as a motor vehicle, a seat belt provides protection in the event of an accident, such as a forklift that topples.
- Watch what you’re wearing: In addition to mandatory safety gear, such as a hardhat and high visibility clothing, beware of anything that’s loose.
It doesn’t matter if you’re operating a forklift or working in close proximity to this type of vehicle, don’t ever lose sight of the fact that safety is more important than anything else.
If you’re injured in a forklift accident at work, stop what you’re doing and call for help. In addition to first-aid at the scene, have an ambulance transport you to a local hospital.
As you recover, it would be in your best interest to learn more about your legal rights in regard to receiving workers’ compensation benefits.