Forklifts are strong and powerful pieces of equipment, and many people find them very intriguing because of their capabilities. However, you don’t want to underestimate these pieces of heavy machinery or ignore the safety precautions that come with operating one. We’re going to give you the very basics of forklift safety below, and you can use this to keep all of your employees safe.
Forklift Statistics in Australia
Although forklift fatalities in Australia stay under or around 10 per year, the number of injuries is just below 1,000 annually. Each injury or death could cost a business thousands of dollars, and many of these accidents are easily avoidable if people understand that forklifts are not toys. They’re heavy machinery, and employees should respect them as such.
Forklift Safety Basics
Forklift operators undergo training and licencing programs before operating forklifts, and this helps them understand the safety requirements. For example, they’ll learn how to stack and secure their loads and tilt it back before they take off.
They also learn how to manoeuvre the forklift around different environments while staying mindful of vehicles, people, other forklifts and product. Your operators will develop habits after they drive for a while that can improve safety even more. These habits include monitoring cargo, being aware of their surroundings and deciding on the optimal speed to operate the forklift.
Other safety basics include performing daily inspections of your forklifts and testing the various components like the control and brake systems. Every forklift should have a daily log the operators fill out, and they should tag the equipment as soon as they see anything wrong with it. The tagged machinery then goes to maintenance for any necessary repairs.
All of these small pieces can help reduce the chances of an injury or accident. You’ll have fewer instances of machine damage, costly repairs, damaged products and employee injury. It’s a good idea to ensure every employee that works in or around forklifts understand the safety basics, and you shouldn’t rely on other employees to teach them. Instead, consider having a quick training session, tour or class for new employees.
Once everyone understands the basics of forklift safety and operating quality machinery, you’ll create a safer and more productive working environment.