Warehouses and other forklift environments aren’t exactly the safest places in the world. Depending on the warehouse, there’s the danger of falling items, moving machinery, spills, exposure to harmful substances, and more. Given all of these hazards, it should come as no surprise that safety is one of the biggest challenges warehouses face. 

Warehouse operators, pedestrians, and managers should always be able to feel safe when doing their jobs. The best way to create a feeling of safety is by minimizing the danger associated with these environments. This can be done if everyone in the facility follows warehouse safety best practices, starting with forklift safety. 

Forklift Safety Tips

The forklift is one of the most commonly used pieces of machinery on the worksite. That’s why the first step toward creating a safer warehouse work environment is through forklift safety training. According to Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) forklift safety statistics, forklifts have caused approximately 85 deaths, 34,900 serious injuries, and 61,800 non-serious injuries per year since 1981 due to unsafe operation. Learning how to properly operate a forklift will keep you and those around you safe.

Here are a few essential tips to put on your forklift safety checklist. 

Be Certified

At first glance, a forklift may not seem that difficult to operate. But don’t let looks fool you—these machines are complex and require a trained expert to control them. Most forklift accidents are caused by poor training, so it’s imperative that you get trained and licensed in accordance with OSHA standards before you attempt to use a forklift on your own.

Wear the Right Clothes

When you’re in a warehouse, it’s important to wear appropriate clothes. Items like open-toe shoes and baggy pants can lead to injury. Typical warehouse attire includes safety shoes, hard hats, and highly visible jackets.

Examine Equipment Before Use

Before starting a forklift, an operator should perform a routine check on the equipment. Check for any faults and take note of any damage or other problems you find. If there is a problem, management should be notified and the forklift should stay off until it’s repaired.

Maintain a Safe Speed

When you’re driving a forklift, there’s no need to rush. Always stay under the recommended speed limit, take corners slowly to reduce the chances of tipping over, and reduce speed when changing directions or stopping. 

Maximize Visibility

Forklifts are great for picking up and moving items from place to place—however, they’re not perfect. If you’re not careful, a load can potentially obstruct your view of what’s in front of you. To avoid this, keep the forks low to the ground. If a load blocks your line of sight, drive in reverse.

Find Your Material Handling Solution

Brennan Equipment Services specializes in providing material handling solutions. We offer products from Hyundai, Cascade, and Taylor-Dunn. Whether you need parts, service, or trucks, we have everything you need for your facility and more.   

Contact us today to learn more about our offerings.

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