How to Protect Workers Operating and Working Near Forklifts
Forklifts are an essential piece of equipment in many workplaces, especially in warehousing and manufacturing. Although these vehicles make work more efficient, they can pose serious hazards to those operating or working near them. OSHA reminds employers and workers that these hazards can be prevented by following safe practices and ensuring that workers are properly trained.
Did you know that 35% of injuries happened to workers who were hired within the past year, regardless of age or industry experience. This resulted in 6 million missed workdays!
In 2019, in particular forklifts were the source of 79 work-related deaths and the 8,140 nonfatal injuries. The hazards found in a warehouse are numerous. The most common hazards forklifts have are overturns, being struck with a forklift, falls from a forklist and stacked bulk goods at height can cause severe injury or dath to anyone below.
The good news is that all of these hazards can be avoided. Proper training, preparednous and machine maintenance and a healthy fear of being distracted.
Crazy - But True
Many injuries have been caused by forklift operators parking their forklift getting out and being run over by their own vehicle. There are many factors that would cause this which we may talk about in a future article.
According to NIOSH the three most common forklift injuries are workers being struck, crushed, or pinned by a forklist. These hazards can be voided with proper training and guidance from employers.
• Always wear seatbelts when operating a forklift.
• Never exceed the rated load, and ensure loads are balanced.
• Make sure you have enough clearance when raising and loading materials.
• Watch for pedestrians and observe speed limits.
• Keep a safe distance from platform and ramp edges.
There have been incredible advances in worker and machinery in warehouses and facilities with Pedestrian Guardrails, Bollards, Height Restricters, ForkGuards, Topple Guardrails and Rackend Guardrails. These advances do not just protect workers but also protect the facility.
The penalties for negligence are severe and can lead to criminal prosecution for individuals responsible.
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