Forklift safety is important. As a matter of fact, OSHA estimates that there are 85 forklift associated fatalities per year. There are also many forklift accidents that result in serious injury. Taking proper safety precautions and understanding the important safety devices on your forklift will help to prevent these accidents and stay safe! While there are many OSHA standards relating to forklifts, some of the most important safety devices on a forklift are brakes, overhead guards, lights, and seatbelts.
When you need to stop, it is essential that you do! Hitting loads or people can cause a great deal of problems. Always inspect your brakes and test them in a controlled environment. If they start to go out, replace them before operating again. Keep people safe by being able to stop!
Overhead guards are put in place to protect forklift operators from objects which may fall from above. Falling loads are very unpredictable, so in order for the overhead guard to provide protection employees should keep their arms and legs directly under the overhead guard. While they are designed to prevent loads from toppling on the operator, they only can withstand so much weight, so wearing a hard hat is also essential. Overall, though, this safety device has prevented many accidents and should be inspected before each shift to ensure it keeps protecting you.
Regulatory bodies require forklifts to have headlights and taillights (brake lights). When working a forklift, there are often people around you who are oblivious to the hazardous situation in front of them. A great additional safety feature that warns people of your movement is a blue light! Headlights and taillights may inform people, but an additional safety light may be helpful to ensure pedestrians and other coworkers are aware of your presence and can see you coming a few seconds before you get there.
Wearing a seatbelt is a requirement. Of all forklift related deaths “42% of those are due to the forklift tipping over and crushing the operator.” Wearing a seatbelt is sure to protect you from this type of hazard.
Safety devices are important to be able to keep operations and employees operating safely. Hard Hat Training has additional resources about how to work a Forklift and what needs to be completed to maintain safety. They have a training on sit down forklifts and stand up forklifts.