June 8 marks the eighth annual National Forklift Safety Day! Sponsored by the Industrial Truck Association, this yearly event serves as a great opportunity for those in the industry to review forklift safety in their own facility.
Speakers this year includes James Frederick, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor (OSHA), Tony Sciarrotta, Executive Director and Publisher at the Reverse Logistics Association, and other industry leaders. National Forklift Safety Day highlights the safe use of forklifts, the importance of operator training, and why daily equipment checks are necessary.
Safely Using Forklifts in the Workplace
Did you know OSHA estimates 1 in 6 workplace deaths involve a forklift? With more than one million active forklifts in the United States, it’s important for warehouses and facilities to make working conditions as safe as possible for both forklift operators and those working around forklifts. Take the time to learn about different risks that can be associated with operating forklifts and identifying hazards in your facility—followed by implementing measures to eliminate or minimize those hazards. Some simple solutions include enforcing safe speed limits, creating a warehouse traffic pattern, and ensuring operators have the right PPE.
The Value of Operator Training
OSHA projects roughly 70% of forklift accidents in US could be prevented if companies implemented more stringent training policies. Reduce the risk of accidents, injuries, and fatalities by ensuring forklifts are only operated by employees that have been properly trained and certified. Not only that, but safety training can also enable drivers to operate forklifts more efficiently. When operators feel comfortable and relaxed forklift equipment, they will work faster and more competently, ultimately improving productivity. OSHA requires every forklift operator to receiving training and certification, as well as an evaluation every three years.
Daily Equipment Checks
To ensure safety, operators should conduct safety and maintenance checks of forklifts before each shift. During these pre-shift inspections, operators will check for damage, leaks, the condition of the forks, chains and cables, guards, the operator compartment and mechanical safety devices. Additional operational checks include checking electrical safety devices, steering, brakes, hydraulic controls, attachments, limit switches, and battery charge. By enforcing pre-shift and daily inspections of forklifts and performing regular maintenance, you can ensure the safety of the machine and the forklift operator.
To learn more about National Forklift Safety Day or register for this year’s event, visit ITA’s website for more information!
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