Forklifts just look dangerous. Think about it: they are large, heavy, and have pointed spikes coming out of the front. Having them around is like having a metal elephant running around your facility. And, true to their looks, forklifts provide a major accident risk. For that reason, it’s important not to overlook any safety protocols related to these hazardous pieces of equipment.

The threat posed by forklifts isn’t just a cosmetic illusion. Stats back up the injury risk they represent. Figures show that forklift accidents cause about 85 deaths a year and almost 35,000 serious injuries.

Most companies recognize this hazard and take the appropriate precautions. Still, even conscientious organizations let things slip. For that reason, it’s important to identify these often-ignored procedures in order to reach the highest safety compliance.

With that in mind, here are the most overlooked forklift safety protocols and why they are important:

Frequent Equipment Checks

You should regularly inspect your forklifts to makes sure they remain in tip-top working order. This will help minimize the chance of accidents. As an added benefit, you’ll get more value out of your equipment over the long haul.

Ideally, you would run through a checklist at the start of each shift. Even if that isn’t possible, take a look at your equipment as often as possible. Here are a few things to look out for:

  • Loose or Broken Parts
  • Instruments
  • Tires
  • Fluids (Brake, Transmission, Etc.)
  • Oil
  • Fuel
  • Lights
  • Mirrors

Scheduled Maintenance

In business, you want to get the most out of every resource you have. You want to avoid the cost and the inconvenience of taking a piece of equipment out of action. That makes some companies put off small repairs as much as possible. Don’t engage in this short-sighted policy. Regular maintenance saves money and minimizes risks over the long term.

Traffic Control

You can limit accidents by putting tighter controls over where forklifts can operate. Often, this comes down to workplace design. Think about how products and raw materials will have to move around your facility. With this flow in mind, you can design traffic patterns that minimize safety risks.

Training Updates

Training is the key to avoiding accidents. It gives drivers the basis for developing the right habits. In fact, statistics compiled by OSHA showed that about 7 out of 10 forklift accidents could have been averted with the right training regime.

But this educational commitment has to extend beyond the initial hiring phase. Any respectable company will comply with the proper certification and initial training requirements. But many leave it there. To really cultivate long-term compliance, it helps to provide ongoing support.

With that in mind, schedule regular training refreshers. Update your drivers on any tweaks to the safety policies. At the same time, use these discussions as a chance to reinforce key points of emphasis. These reminders will ensure that policies are held steady over time.

Forklift Awareness for Everyone Else

Forklift safety goes beyond the forklift itself. It isn’t just a responsibility for the people operating the equipment. Everyone in the facility shares some of accountability.

Government statistics indicate that almost 20% of forklift accidents involve a pedestrian. That figure can be reduced if every worker maintains proper safety protocols around these dangerous machines.

Having the right team in place makes it easier to maintain high safety standards. A top recruiting agency, like SmartTalent, can help you find the conscientious, trustworthy workers you need.

Contact SmartTalent today to upgrade your team.

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