Industrial accidents involving heavy machinery such as forklifts are all too common. Despite OSHA guidelines, advancing lift truck technology, and more effective education and training, mishaps still occur in warehouses, shipping yards and workplaces all over Indiana.
Because these accidents can result in serious injuries and heavy financial loss, it’s imperative to know what causes these accidents, and how to avoid them. Here’s what you can do to prevent forklift accidents from occurring in your workplace.
Accidents involving forklifts or other similar machinery can usually be broken down into a few categories: collisions, toppling, drops & falls, and racking accidents. Let’s look at these categories, and what you and your employees can do to prevent future forklift accidents.
Collisions are probably the easiest type of forklift accident to imagine. A forklift colliding with a pedestrian, wall or another piece of machinery can result in serious damage and injury, and some of the worst OSHA horror stories involve forklift collisions.
There is good news, however–almost 100% of collisions are completely avoidable when using proper safety practices. These practices aren’t just the responsibility of the forklift operator, though - anyone working in proximity to forklifts or similar machinery should follow these guidelines to ensure a safe work space.
The entire purpose of forklifts is to lift and move heavy loads, which makes weight distribution a vital part of their design. While they’re designed to stay upright and distribute weight evenly, unexpected forces, uneven terrain and improper load weights can result in the entire lift toppling over.
Similar to toppling over, drops and falls occur when weight distribution is thrown off, resulting in cargo or an operator coming off the lift.
Picking and racking with a forklift can require a lot of precision. Rack a load too deep into the shelving, and you can damage a pallet or your tines. Push too far when racking and you can cause an entire shelf to collapse on the opposite side.
If you want to learn more about safe forklift operations, the team at Tynan Equipment is here to help. Call 317-597-4003 today to talk to our team about forklift operator training, fleet management and more to make your workplace safer and more efficient.
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