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Top five causes of forklift accidents and how to avoid them

Top five causes of forklift accidents and how to avoid them

                  Top five causes of forklift accidents and how to avoid them

Face it. Forklift accidents can and do happen. Why? Well that’s the question typically asked after the fact. The number of reasons why are way beyond five. Yet these five reasons end up included in those findings reports more often than others.

1.Novice Operators and/or Lack of Proper Training:

If you are new to operating power industrial trucks (forklifts) of any kind  requires training prior to operating. So to watch a few minutes of video and being told and allowed to simply hop on the equipment doesn’t work. Most forklifts in operation are large multi ton machines manufactured to pick up other large or heavy objects. Power industrial trucks can and do tremendous damage when operators hit things. Property damage is one thing. Imagine being a new operator given pencil whip training and you actually have forklift accidents where you injure or heaven forbid kill someone! Forklifts are different from automobile yet some think they are just as easy to operate. Really?We wouldn’t ask a first day medical student to perform.Then allow them to operate the machine but only under direct supervision of supervisor and/or instructor. Slowly, under specific instruction and evaluate. Allow them to gain experience but remember until you certify the new operator under your company forklift safety training program the supervision must continue at all times. No exceptions ever.Hey look there are more details I could add and go on but think you get the idea.

2.Careless Operation, Under the Influence & Horseplay:

People are human and we do enjoy a good laugh. Unfortunately judging by the ever growing number of “fail” videos popping up on the internet we seem to be interested at laughing at other people’s pain these days. Having a chuckle at a harmless gaff is one thing. They get a bit lazy here and a tad “oh well” there. Next thing you know Bang! Their carelessness has just damaged a customer’s product or worse yet they hurt someone. Organizations must have a no tolerance policy with horseplay and need to go one step beyond. They must schedule and provide specific training to all three. Bring it front & center, discuss it in detail and do a facility walk around with the entire crew discussing it again. This is where good management and solid teams come in.

3.Fatigue, Stress & Overwork:

In every single industry. It doesn’t matter what your age the amount of productivity demanded today is driving all of us. Millennials included by the way. Up early to work, home late and when family goes to bed back to online work. Over and over day after day until again, Bang! We are wearing ourselves down to the point of breaking. If you have employees that don’t take all of their vacation time each year you have an issue. They need that time off. Ensure they get the break and your productivity will rise. I guarantee it.

4.Working Environment & Layout:

Where you operate power industrial trucks is extremely important. Does your organization have the right equipment for the environment being operated in? Inside, outside or both will influence the equipment needs. Never ceases to amaze me when visiting with clients to see a piece of equipment they acquired “years ago” when they were in a different location still in action and it’s limiting their productivity. Trust me moving into a larger facility forklift accidents with a better layout was a happy day for them. You can have a poorly laid out location you just need to  ensure you train to it. Even if you do the training every year as a reminder it  helps

5.Bad Equipment & Lack of Proper Maintenance:

Poor maintenance is a major pet peeve of mine. Sorry but there is absolutely no excuse for bad equipment in the workplace. None! Electric lifts with large chunks of corrosion on the battery. Propane lifts with bent or missing tank pins. Broken safety equipment such as lights, horns or beepers. Operating damaged or broken equipment is a recipe for disaster.

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