Did you know that nearly 100,000 people each year are injured in forklift-related accidents? Whether it be improper training or failure to pay attention, forklift-related injuries are quite a common occurrence. Even worse is that many of the injuries are fatal. Fortunately, there are several ways to enhance forklift safety in the workplace. For now, let’s take a close look at improving forklift safety and the various accessories you can use to reduce the risk of accidents and injuries.
Understanding Fatal Injuries Involving Forklifts
Before we dive into the importance of safety training on forklifts, let’s first look at the types of fatal accidents that are most predominant. According to studies:
- 42% of forklift-related fatalities involve the vehicle tipping over on the driver or passerby
- 25% of fatalities are a result of being crushed between the forklift and another surface
- 11% involve being crushed between two forklifts
- 10% involve being run over by a forklift
- 8% of fatalities occur because a forklift causes material to fall, and four percent occur as a result of falling off the platform of the forklift’s forks.
The Importance of Forklift Safety Training
Extensive studies have shown that an astonishing 70 percent of forklift-related accidents could be avoided had the driver had proper safety training. Never should a driver be allowed to operate a forklift unless he or she has gone through proper training and has certification to operate the machinery. Training a driver can be costly and time-consuming, but in many workplaces, it is mandatory, and most importantly, training can help reduce accidents.
Forklift training courses are fairly simple to come by. With a quick search on the Internet, you can easily find training courses that are local to your area. Your HR department will likely know of several nearby training courses. Some courses can be brought to your place of work, while others will require attendees to go to a different location. It is up to you as to which type of training course you want your forklift operators to complete.
Regardless of the type of course that you have your forklift operators complete, it is of the utmost importance that it covers a variety of topics, including forklift accessory safety. There are many types of accessories that can be used to enhance the safety of using a forklift. You will want all forklift operators to be highly-trained in knowing how to use each accessory, including how to attach them, use them, and remove them.
Forklift Accessories That Improve Safety
There are many types of accessories that can be attached to a forklift to enhance its safety. Side shifters are a very common type of accessory often come as a standard attachment. This type of accessory allows the forklift’s tynes to shift from side to side, which is especially beneficial when aligning the tynes with a pallet. The tynes can be maneuvered without the entire forklift having to be moved.
Another accessory attachment that is worth taking a close look at is a forklift cover. This accessory greatly improves safety in the workplace and enhances the overall experience for a forklift operator. More so, covers actually improve the lifespan of forklifts by protecting them from harsh weather elements. A forklift cover simply attaches to the forklift and creates an enclosure for the driver. When operating a forklift in the rain or wind, the cover will keep these weather elements off of the driver. Not only does this enhance safety but it also can help lessen the risk of your forklift drivers getting sick.
When you invest in covers for your forklifts, you are showing your employees that you are committed to both their comfort and safety. This can result in a higher level of job satisfaction for your employees as well as a lower turnover rate. As you go about purchasing a cover, make sure to invest in one that is triple-layered and made of nylon fabric. You may even want to look into ones that offer magnetic enclosure options. These covers can typically be operated with the simple use of a zipper. Some also come with Velcro options.
Forklift covers improve safety because they protect drivers from harsh weather conditions. They also help ensure the inside of the forklift stays dry, which means a driver’s hands are less likely to slip off the steering wheel and other buttons and knobs.
Safety should be your main priority when training drivers to use forklifts. The best way to enhance safety is by investing in quality training and a variety of forklift accessories.
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