When it comes to maintaining safety in material handling operations, fleet managers and forklift operators alike have no room for complacency. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimate that there are 34,900 forklift accidents each year with almost 90 resulting in fatalities. This is an alarming statistic, particularly in the modern age of sophisticated safety features and thorough operational protocols.
Though material handling businesses have made substantial progress in improving the standards of safety for their employees in the 21st century, much can still be done to reduce safety hazards further. Manufacturers have come up with ingenious designs to improve safety for forklift drivers by making use of the latest technologies available at their disposal. The Moffett fork truck is one such example of safer material handling forklifts that are being used all over the world for their enhanced safety features and better productivity.
However, despite the progress in machinery and equipment, accidents still occur on a regular basis. An overwhelming majority of the accidents that occur happen because of human error or unsafe forklift usage techniques. As such, it is essential for every employee of the material handling industry to be familiar with general safety protocols and know what can be done to maintain safety in forklift operations. This information is not limited to fleet managers and forklift operators only, but needs to be known by every person of the crew working on site.
After all, the number one responsibility of the managers is to guarantee the safety of their crew and operators. This can be achieved by a number of ways that are often overlooked due to carelessness or incompetence. So let us take a look at some of the ways you can maintain adequate safety standards in on site operations while using forklifts.
Table of Contents
Hire the Right People
The first step, as a fleet manager, is to hire the right person to operate technical and heavy machinery on a daily basis. The operator you hire must have the completed the required training hours and courses as set forth by the OSHA. Moreover, the training must be up to date and in sync with the latest machinery being used in the industry.
Too many forklift accidents occur because of the error of the driver. Often, it is not just negligence, but the inadequate training on the part of the driver to deal with various situations encountered in the warehouse and operational facility.
Buy the Best Equipment
When it comes to maintaining safety, you can spare no expense. Even the most skilled drivers cannot operate a faulty piece of equipment safely which puts their lives, as well as the lives of everyone around them, at risk. Therefore, the best equipment will ensure maximum chances of safety for the operators.
Even if you decide to purchase a used piece of equipment for your operations, the vetting process needs to be vigorous in order to ensure that the machinery is fit for operation. Usually, contacting licensed retailers who have plenty of experience in the field is the right step when it comes to purchasing pre-owned forklifts. Bobby Park Truck and Equipment for example, is one such retailer that can help you pick out the right used Moffett forklift for sale.
Inspect the Machinery before Use
Proper inspection of the machinery is a prerequisite for safety. Sometimes a simple inspection before using the forklift can prevent a terrible accident. A leak, crack or rusted component can cause the forklift to malfunction during operations, resulting in an accident.
Yet, the inspection must be carried out by someone with a trained eye to detect irregularities if there are any. Usually, a senior operator or an expert technician can carry out the inspection however it is prudent to train all existing operators to detect defects in the forklift during the inspection.
Be Mindful of the Surrounding Environment
A lot of forklift accidents occur due to unsafe objects in the surrounding environment. This is especially true in case of small and confined spaces such as warehouses, where there may be sharp edges, ramps, and slopes. Objects left lying around by the rest of the crew can cause accidents if the forklift drives over them or they cause the forklift to lose balance.
As such, it is important for both the driver and the rest of the crew to be mindful of the surrounding environment. For the forklift operator, there is a need to observe the space around the forklift before passing through whereas, for the rest of the crew, no objects must be left lying around lest the forklift drive over them and have an accident.
Though some forklifts, such as Moffett lift trucks, have better stability than others, it is still necessary to minimize chances of a tip over. These were just some of the tips and tricks to maintain a safe forklift operational environment.