Forklift Safety Best Practices

In almost every materials handling facility across the nation, forklifts serve a vital purpose. They’re an indispensable part of the scene, and they provide a core aspect of productivity and profitability. A forklift can allow one person to complete the work of dozens in a fraction of the time, and when used properly, forklifts are safe, reliable investments.

But lifting equipment is not always used or maintained properly, and even when it is, accidents can still happen. Tipovers, collisions, and ergonomic problems cause thousands of workplace injuries every year, and the best way to prevent them is to understand how and why they happen. Only then can you prevent them. Here are 3 key safety practices that can reduce the risk of personal injury and property damage caused by lifting and handling incidents.

  1. Training, Training, Training
    Studies have determined that basic operator training leads, on average, to a 61 percent improvement in operator competence.1 Meanwhile, insufficient training, or no formal training at all, can not only injure workers, but also undermine the company’s bottom line. While unqualified operators can easily hurt themselves or others, the accidents they cause can also lead to property damage, product loss, maintenance costs, and high insurance premiums. And if you need another incentive to invest in employee training, OHSA fines for non-compliance is a compelling one: following a conviction after prosecution, a corporation can be fined up to $500,000.
  2. Operator Safety Compliance
    Of course, only trained and certified operators should take responsibility for handling a forklift. And as they do so, they should keep basic, fundamental safety rules in mind. No person should ever sit or stand on lifting and loading attachments. Loads should always be properly balanced. Operators and bystanders should not be permitted to walk under raised lifting equipment. And all operations and loads should fall within a forklift’s rated capacity. Seat belts and traffic signals should be used at all times, and forklifts should be subject to lift truck inspections and regular maintenance.
  3. Sales and Selection
    Before you invest in a new forklift for your fleet, conduct some research and find the best and safest model for your needs. Find a forklift that can meet the demands of your workplace, and handle the kinds of loads, aisle widths, and conditions that are central to your business. Toyota offers a wide range of lift trucks and attachments that can handle diverse conditions and heavy loads. Browse our models to find a reliable lift truck that works as hard as you do.

For more information or to have one of the experts at Liftow guide you through the purchase of a new lift truck, contact your nearest Liftow branch.