3 Most Common Warehouse Injuries and How to Avoid Them

When employees are operating forklifts in warehouses, they are normally at-risk for a number of accidents and injuries. Lack of adequate training, material handling, and overall forklift operation lead to a number of accidents related to warehouse injuries. There are around 855,900 forklifts in use all the time, and 9 out of 10 will be in an accident at least once in their lifespan. Additionally, each forklift will last on average around 8 years. Here are the three most common warehouse injuries, and how you can focus on avoiding them in the warehouse.

Negligence

One of the most common and often time harmful warehouse accidents occur when a driver is operating in a negligent or thoughtless way. Far too often forklift drivers can become overly relaxed and comfortable with driving a forklift, and complacency such as this can often lead to dangerous collisions with other forklifts operating nearby. Additionally, complacency can also lead to a collision with a person or even a wall. Therefore, it is important to properly train your drivers to always be aware of their surroundings and pay attention when they are operating a forklift. Simple things like failing to secure the forklift can lead to loading and unloading issues. An operator must always engage the brake when they are not using the forklift.

Chocking the wheels is one of the most important elements of managing a forklift. Chocking consists of placing a wedge in front and behind each wheel to prevent the forklift from moving. Loss of control is another major reason why forklift accidents occur.

A forklift driver that is not properly trained can cause accidents and can be sued for negligence. Not only will the employee be liable for a lawsuit, the company can be fined for negligence as well. This can cause a serious lawsuit and PR disaster for any company. Some settlements have ended upwards of one million dollars based on the severity of the accident. Adequate training is the best way to ensure these serious problems do not occur.

Unsafe Operation

A forklift needs adequate maintenance to work in the right way. Unsafe operation of the equipment can end up leading to a serious disaster. A forklift is steered by their back wheels and the rear engine compartment will move when the forklift turns on its rear wheels. According to OSHA, fatal accidents involving forklifts occur to around 85 people each year. All companies must maintain their equipment to prevent serious accidents. Poor maintenance usually results in steering, transmission, brake, and hydraulic system failures.

Tipping Over

A major accident problem with forklifts occurs when they tip over. Around 42% of forklift accidents are caused by loading issues, which most often than not, cause the forklift to tip over. Teaching employees how to safely load a forklift is the best way to keep them from tipping over. Unbalanced loading with an inexperienced driver contributes to some of the major forklift accidents in warehouses. Each employee must be able to learn how to check the weight limit of the forklift to prevent overloading.  Safety is everything when it comes to keeping your accident ratio under control. If your employees are not trained properly and you do not have the money to maintain your forklifts, it will lead to serious accidents and injuries in the warehouse.

About Tom Reddon

Tom has been involved in the forklift industry since 1986. He loves doing research, blogging, and speaking about forklifts. You can contact Tom on his Twitter or Google+ profiles.

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