Forklift Safety – how employers can reduce the risks
Over time, the use of forklifts has consistently proven to be a risk for serious workplace injuries and fatalities.
As forklifts have a compact design, they can become unstable and tip over. Even during normal operation at low speeds, forklifts can still cause serious injuries and fatalities to both driver and pedestrians, who can be hit or crushed against objects or machinery.
It is important for all employers and their workers to be aware of the serious impact incorrect usage of this equipment can have on the lives of workers, bystanders and their families.
Most, if not all accidents, can be avoided if employers and operators work together to implement and follow a safe system of work to control risks.
Don’t wait until there’s an injury or death at your workplace!
Top-tips to minimise risk to your workers
Right machine for the job: Consult with your employees and be clear of what capacity and safety features the forklift in your workplace needs.
Maintenance: Ensure your forklift is in safe working order with pre-start checks, regular service and inspections according to the manufacture’s recommendations and relevant standards.
Separate pedestrians and forklifts: Develop a set of rules and systems for managing movement of traffic in your workplace, including pedestrian and forklift exclusion zones, safety zones for truck drivers, safety barriers, speed-limits and signs.
Training: Forklift drivers must hold a relevant qualification (check with your local workplace safety authority) and be competent to operate in your work environment. A poorly trained driver in charge of heavy mobile equipment spells disaster right from start.
Strict enforcement of policies and procedures: Ensuring that your drivers are fit for work and a zero tolerance to ‘horse-play’ helps reduce the risk of forklift-related injuries.
Induction training program
While it is difficult to completely eliminate the risks in a workplace, strong systems and processes, including a solid induction training program, will have a large effect on the probability of an accident or incident happening.
A well-structured induction program is one of the most effective and efficient ways to bring new recruits up to speed on safe work methods. Employees learn the right way of doing things from the beginning, minimising the risk of costly mistakes, while increasing productivity.
Wouldn’t it be great if your new recruits could come in on the first day already trained? For a lot of organisations, TANDI online induction training has proven to be the safest and most economical way to manage their new employee induction training.
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