Pay Attention: Top 3 Blind Spots in Forklift Safety Training

Forklifts are perhaps the most efficient and powerful means of material transport in the warehouse. It is no wonder then that they remain the most common transport equipment in use today. However, a forklift is effective only when manned by a trained operator. There are mandatory safety trainings and certifications for anyone who wants to drive a forklift for warehouse operations. Majority of reported accidents and injuries related to forklifts can be traced to drivers who failed to undergo the needed training courses.

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Image Credit: teikjoon

Hence, most companies make it a point to train their forklift operators, and some even hire only those who are experienced and certified in forklift operation. Training programs vary from company to company, and most of them have proved to remarkably decrease the rate of warehouse mishaps.

Still, it is not always the quality of the training program that determines how effective it is in mitigating accidents and injuries. How the training is administered also plays a major part, as well as the participating people. The following are 3 common oversights in forklift safety training:

     1.    Hand pallet trucks. Most trainers discard them in training programs, and most employees do not pay enough attention to them when they are actually discussed. This is understandable since hand pallet trucks are not exactly driven and lack both lifting and stacking capabilities. Nevertheless, they can still do serious damage to hands and feet when not handled properly.

     2.    Temporary operators. Several companies do not include them in training, the rationale being that they will be spending only a limited time within the premises. Though that may be true, take note that they will still be handling the same equipment, and they are also likely to cause accidents if left untrained. Temporary workers are should be entitled to the same training that permanent workers must undergo.

     3.    Supervisors. Contrary to what most people believe, operators are not the only ones who must be included in forklift safety trainings. Improper operation is often left unchecked because supervisors and managers do not know a thing or two about operating forklifts. Trained supervisors are also able to better assess forklift danger zones, devise corresponding actions, and roll out appropriate safety precautions to employees.

Notably, a large part of the victims in forklift-related injuries is not the driver, but other warehouse employees who simply happened to be at the wrong place at the wrong time. Orienting all employees about the usual routes of the forklifts, the risks with rear-wheel steers, and a forklift operator’s blind spots, will also help lessen the possibility of accidents.

About the Author:

Hazel Evangelista is a writer, reader, and part-time sun-worshipper. She’s been writing about safety and security lately, and you can find more of her work at Emedco’s Blog. If not busy at work, she’s busy with life – climbing mountains, surfing waves, or lazing by the beach with a good book in hand.

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