7 Forklift Safety Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)

Posted by Casandra Properties on Monday, January 11th, 2021 at 2:39pm.

Did you know that there are over 2.8 million non-fatal workplace accidents each calendar year? If you own a business, keeping your employees safe from harm should be one of your top priorities.

This is especially true if your line of work requires the use of forklifts. These machines weigh around 9,000 pounds and are quite dangerous, which is why forklift safety is extremely important.

In this article, we'll help you create a forklift safety plan for you and your employees. We'll tell you what you need to include in your forklift safety plan, as well as give you some tips and tricks that you can use to enforce that plan better.

That way, you can increase workplace safety and reduce the chances of an accident occurring.

Forklift Safety Mistakes

1. Improper Employee Training Methods

It goes without saying, but anytime someone gets on a forklift without having done any forklift safety training, there's a higher chance of an accident occurring. Because of this, we recommend that you make sure that everyone knows these safety tips before they use a forklift on company property.

If you want to take things a step further, consider making it a rule where forklift certification is required to operate all company forklifts. That way you can ensure that anyone who gets behind the wheel of one of your forklifts is trained well and knows what they're doing.

2. No Forklift Rules or Regulations

To piggyback off of that last point, it's important to make sure that you have some forklift safety rules in place for your team. Not having any rules in place encourages your employees to be reckless on or around forklifts, which isn't what you want to do.

Our advice? Come up with 10 or so basic forklift safety rules, have them printed on a sign, and hang that sign up in your warehouse somewhere. That way you can make sure that everyone is thinking of those safety rules at all times.

3. Missed Forklift Inspections

Every single forklift that you own needs to be inspected properly on a routine basis. The inspections will not only prolong the life of your forklifts, but it'll also help keep everyone using them safe and protected.

So, if you aren't doing so already, go ahead and write down your next few inspections in your calendar so you don't forget them. Putting off these inspections is never a good idea, so make sure that you don't skip more than one inspection.

A pro tip? Perform all of your forklift inspections in-house each month. That way you can get with your team and not only take care of your forklifts but also reminded them about basic safety protocol.

4. Speeding on Forklifts 

Not sure what items you should put on your basic list of forklift safety rules? Consider putting speeding at or near the top of the list.

After all, your team members want to get their job done as fast as they possibly can. And while speeding through tasks may be tempting, it's a great way to cause a serious accident, which is why this rule is so crucial. 

Speeding on a forklift is not only dangerous for the person behind the wheel, but it's a great way to harm those around the forklift, too. Because of this, it's important to make sure that everyone on your team understands the importance of driving a forklift at the proper speeds.

5. Slipping on Entry or Exit of Forklift 

Again, most forklift accidents and injuries occur because people are rushing to get things done. While speeding is a huge problem that needs to be prevented, being safe while entering or exiting a forklift is also important.

A slip-and-fall accident on or near a forklift is especially dangerous. So, be sure to talk to your staff about slowing down and making sure that they're being careful when entering or exiting their forklift.

6. Improper Parking of Forklifts

Believe it or not, someone doesn't have to be using a forklift, or even be behind the wheel, to cause a forklift-related accident. The biggest issue like this to worry about? Improper forklift parking.

If a forklift isn't parked where it's supposed to be, someone is liable to run into it, either on foot or with a forklift. Both of these incidents can cause injury to someone, which is why you need to encourage your staff to park their forklifts at the proper place.

With that in mind, if you don't have a spot already, go ahead create a parking area for all of your forklifts. Keeping parked forklifts away from all traffic is recommended, so keep that in mind when searching for a parking location in your warehouse.

7. No Communication While on Forklifts 

If you've got multiple people using forklifts at once, or one person using a forklift around other people, communication is of the utmost importance. Simply having solid communication in the workplace can reduce the chances of having an accident occur greatly.

Again, make sure that your employees understand the importance of communicating with one another while using forklifts. That way you can keep everyone happy and safe in the workplace, which is the overall goal here.

Looking for More Forklift Safety Tips?

As you can see, a lot goes into creating a solid forklift safety plan. But if you take your time and create one for your business, and make sure that your team knows it well, you can reduce the chances of a forklift-related accident greatly.

Looking for more tips and tricks on how to run your business the right way? Check back with our blog often for more useful information and ideas.

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