Prevent Injuries

 

Forklifts fall into the category of heavy equipment, and can therefore be very powerful and efficient tools when operated by competent drivers. Sometimes, however, employers do not follow the safety guidelines or provide required training programs for their employees, and those untrained employees become part of the 100 deaths and 20,0000 serious injuries a year that afflict people who are working with and around forklifts.

To avoid becoming a part of this statistic, follow these injury prevention guidelines which are posted at your worksite:

  • Only employ fully trained and certified operators to use any type of forklift.
  • Make sure that the operator knows how to use the particular type of forklift at hand.
  • Operators should be extremely cautious and aware of their operating area.
  • Forklifts that are malfunctioning or missing parts should not be used.
  • Make sure to only use appropriate forklift attachments: consider the driving location, size of the load and potential hazards.
  • Observing and managing a team of forklift operators involves observing their operating habits and taking prompt corrective action to avoid unsafe or careless operation.

A forklift is in the safest condition when it is free of defective, missing, or questionable parts. Daily visual checks and regular, preventative maintenance can avoid encountering these problems. When maintaining a forklift, follow these highlighted guidelines to prevent injury or fatalities:

  • Repairs for maintenance should never be conducted in a space with any kind of flammable or combustible atmosphere.
  • Never use flammable solvent for cleaning a forklift, but instead use a non-combustible solvent.
  • The space being used for maintenance and repairs should have adequate ventilation in order to prevent the accumulation of gas fumes or exhaust.
  • Removing and keeping control of the key for a forklift, or disconnecting the battery, will stop the forklift from automatically starting when making repairs or doing maintenance. Forklifts with electrical systems will need to disconnect their batteries before beginning repairs.

For secure support, jack stands or block support should be installed. The servicer should never go under a forklift if it is supported by only a jack or if any part of is it supported solely by hydraulic pressure.

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