Have you heard of the report on a male employee who died when the forklift he was operating fell? If you browse through various news sites, deaths related to forklifts are not as rare as you think they are.
There’s also a brimming number of forklift-related injuries ranging from falls to deep cuts. These are results of companies overlooking the importance of forklift safety.
We invite you to keep reading to find out just how important forklift safety is, especially in industrial settings!
Due to its commonality, forklifts are often viewed as everyday machines like sewing machines. However, people forget that forklifts are very heavy and powerful machines. When operated incorrectly, forklifts can cause damages to your workplace and your employees.
For instance, your operator drives the forklift at unprecedented speed. The operator might not be able to see employees on foot, especially in blind spots. As the operator is using great speed, it would be too late to try to stop the machine when someone happens to be on the way.
Although they’re very helpful in transporting heavy objects and increasing productivity, forklifts are a threat to the working environment.
This is why your operators should receive forklift safety training. This ensures that they know what they are doing and are quite skilled in their job. In addition, they know the proper protocols that they have to follow so that their operation won’t cause anyone any harm.
When your operator maintains forklift safety, your other employees will be more assured. Your employees won’t be anxious about the forklifts around the workplace; thus, they’ll be less stressed. Instead, they might be more encouraged to work as they know that they are in a safe working environment.
As mentioned, forklifts are dangerous equipment as they can cause work accidents. For instance, your forklift operator might swing the forklift around quickly. As a result, the forks at the front could hit all the nearby objects such as shelves and cargo boxes, causing them to fall.
It’s not uncommon for passing employees to get hit by falling objects. Warehouse shelves, for instance, are heavy enough to cause bone fractures and concussions.
Worst case scenario, the operator might not hit an object but a person while operating. The impact of forklifts can knock them off or cause serious bodily harm.
There’s also a high chance that your operator might drive the forklift on full load. If the operator isn’t trained, it will be difficult for the operator to balance the forklift. Thus, there’s a high chance that the vehicle itself will fall over along with the load it was carrying.
Not only will you have to deal with damaged products, but you’ll also have an ailing employee and a vehicle to resolve.
Thus, it’s always great to have your employees receive forklift safety training. This makes sure that they’ll be operating forklifts safely. Thus, chances of accident occurrences will decrease a lot.
Forklift injuries range from broken bones to spinal injuries, crush injuries, and deep cuts. Injuries from forklift accidents can also be as severe as traumatic brain injury and paralysis. What’s worse is that death caused by forklifts is not unheard of.
In reality, there are 78 work-related deaths associated with forklifts. Also, there are more than 7,200 severe but non-fatal injuries related to forklifts in 2020 alone.
These occurrences are pressing enough that there’s an entire subsection dedicated to forklifts alone under the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Code. In this code, maintaining forklift safety in industrial settings is repeatedly emphasized. This is not only to help prevent accidents but also to minimize work-related deaths.
There is a great risk of property and product damage in industrial settings if your forklift operator isn’t familiar with the mechanics of forklifts. Careless operation or use of a malfunctioning forklift will also cause great damage.
For instance, your operator isn’t paying attention to the surroundings while driving backward. As a result, the operator might hit a few products on the way or might leave a dent in your warehouse.
It’s also possible that such carelessness can cause a few boxes of products to fall over and incur damages. There’s also the issue of damages done to the forklift itself.
The key to safe forklift operation primarily lies in the hand of the operator. Even if you’re using a used forklift, if your operator is knowledgeable and skilled, then the chances of a forklift hazard occurring will decrease.
No doubt, ensuring forklift safety can benefit you in the long run. Safe operation of forklifts decreases product and property damages. Thus, instead of concurring losses, you’ll be driving your company’s profit upwards.
Operating forklifts safely also prevents accidents and deaths. This means no more workers’ compensation to pay. Instead, you can use the money to upgrade your forklift fleet and improve your industrial facility.
It also won’t hurt to become known as a company that provides a safe workplace to its employees. Such a good reputation can help ease your recruitment process.
Applicants will be lining up to join your safe and worker-friendly company. In some cases, it can even drive consumers to trust in your company and your product, driving your sales.
The benefits of forklift safety are undeniably vast, from promoting safe working conditions to boosting your company’s profit! Take the necessary steps to make sure that your forklift fleet won’t cause you or anybody else any harm!
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