Forklift Safety (Part 1)

While Premier may not sell forklifts, they’re an integral part of warehouses and present a huge risk to workers. About 100 deaths and 95,000 injuries in the workplace are caused by forklifts every year. Below are some Case Reports of accidents involving forklifts. See if you can spot all the hazards before we reveal them in the video.

  • In, 1996, the president of an advertising company was killed while unloading steel tubing from a trailer with a forklift. He was operating the forklift on a 3% grade, and when the victim turned the forklift, it began to tip. The overhead guard of the forklift pinned the victim’s head the concrete driveway. It was found that the rear axle was damaged before the accident. The forklift also did not have a seatbelt.
  • In, 1995, a 39 year old employee at a computer components manufacturer was struck fatally by a forklift. The victim was working at her press station when a forklift was traveling in reverse at high speed struck a large metal scrap bin, propelling it toward the unaware victim and crushing her against the press station.
  • In 1997, a 36 year old electric-line technician fell from a forklift and was run over resulting in fatal injuries. One employee was operating the forklift while the victim was riding on the forks. The operator slowed down to approach an intersection and did not notice that the victim had fallen. When the operator resumed acceleration, he had run over the victim.

Make sure to follow the guidelines in the above video if you want to avoid any accidents involving forklifts in your warehouse. When possible, use lightweight material handling equipment like pallet trucks and pallet stackers to avoid serious injury. There’s more to learn about forklift safety, so be sure to catch our second post on forklift safety later this week.

Forklift Safety Video Transcript

forklift safetyHello. I’m here to talk about the very serious topic of forklift safety. Heavy equipment like forklifts can result in injury or even death if not operated correctly. In order to avoid any accidents in your warehouse, I have prepared a list of forklift safety guidelines for you to follow.

First, evaluate which employees can and cannot operate forklifts safely, and make sure that no untrained person ever operates a forklift. No one under 18 should operate a forklift.

Make sure that the forklift is in operational condition before usage. Inspect the forks, tires, vent caps, and exterior for damage, and make sure any damage found is reported.

Drive cautiously, and do not exceed 5 miles per hour when carrying a load. Slow down in areas with foot or vehicle traffic. Pay attention to the surface you are driving on and avoid areas with low traction or uneven terrain.

All forklifts should abide by the design and construction requirements of the American National Standard for Powered Industrial Trucks. Any modifications to the forklift that have the potential to affect safety should be approved by the truck manufacturer. Make sure that the instruction plates and decals are updated to reflect any modifications.

If operating forklifts in a hazardous or special location, the forklift must be approved for such use. When replacing a battery, make sure it is correctly installed and is secured.

If a forklift operator fails to follow any of these guidelines, or shows any sign of incompetence while operating the forklift, they must receive additional training and evaluation before being approved to operate the forklift again.