How to Prevent 5 Common Forklift Accidents

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Moffett Forklifts

According to surveys, the number of fatalities continues to rise across the USA because of forklift-related accidents. Every year, approximately 20,000 workers die. In addition, operators remain in danger, and pedestrians in the area are prone to the risks. The question is whether there is a way to prevent these accidents or not? As a warehouse owner, will you be able to protect your employees? A good start is to know some of the common causes that tag along with operating forklifts. 

When operating new and used forklift trucks for sale OSHA recently conducted a study to evaluate the accidents, fatalities, and injuries. The study shows there are actually six common causes. This post should address some of them, and ways to prevent them from harming you or your warehouse employees. 

  1. Forklift Overturn

The leading cause of most deaths in warehouses is because of forklift overturns. The common causes of forklift overturn include:

  • Excessive speed
  • Uneven driving surfaces
  • Equipment malfunction
  • Unbalanced or uneven loads
  • Turning sharply or quickly
  • Operating the forklift on an incline

How to Avoid an Overturn of Used Forklift Trucks for Sale

To avoid this forklift accident, you should turn carefully, and follow the set speed limits. When driving on inclines, move slowly. You should raise and lower the loads only when the lift truck is not moving. Keep the load low, close to the ground. Keep in mind that if an overturn occurs, you can follow some safety measures that depend on the model or the type of forklift that you are operating. 

When a tip over occurs, you should stay seated. Grab and hold on tight to the steering wheel, lean away as you brace your feet away from the impact. In most cases, the first instinct for operators is to jump right out of the forklift. However, you should ignore this and remain in the cabin. Trying to jump out of the cabin will cause a fatal accident. Keep the seat belt on; which should help you to say inside the cabin if a tip over occurs. With a seatbelt, you will be at a lower risk of injury compared to without one. 

Make sure that you buy a forklift that has new and functioning parts in the cabin and exterior. Choose the best models from Truck Forklifts and inspect the vehicle to ensure it moves smoothly. 

  1. Lack of Being Attentive

In a warehouse, another common cause of forklift accidents is lack of the operators being attentive. The good news is that this is also preventable. Operators could be inattentive because of several reasons. This could be distractions, fatigue, or carelessness. It is important that operators stay alert at all times. Operators should take shifts, which would help them concentrate better. In addition, taking breaks would keep operators alert about their surroundings. They will have control on their legs, in case they have to hit the brakes suddenly! Encourage your employees to drink water, and eat well at all times. This should help to keep them vigilant. 

  1. A Load Hitting Operators

In a forklift, the overhead guard is an important feature. It protects the operators from any falling objects. However, they are not capable of withstanding the load of any falling object. In order to avoid a load falling on the overhead guard, you should check whether the forks are even. You should utilize the load-extension backrest. 

Keep the distance between the racking and the top load about 6 inches. Watch out for the overhead fixtures as well, like the lighting. During the pre-operation inspection, you should also check the overhead guards for any damages. 

  1. Lack of Forklift Training

Know that the hazards that tag along with forklift operations not only have an adverse effect on operators, but it also affects the people that work in the area. To prevent the chances of accidents, and reduce the risks of an accident, you should encourage employees to attend OSHA training. Proper forklift training is important as it prevents the chances of damages. It ensures operators and pedestrians remain safe when they work in a warehouse. 

  1. Poorly Balanced Loads

In a warehouse, instability could cause anything to fall off from the forklift. A loose load could easily fall over and cause the forklift to tip over. To avoid such hazards, you shouldn’t exceed the load capacity of the forklift. To see the exact load capacity, you should check the vehicle’s data plate. This should have the precise detail of the lift height, the load capacity, as well as the load center. There could be changes in this based on the forklift attachments. 

Even with training, accidents can occur at any time. The best tip here is to follow safety measures. Check the used forklift trucks for sale for any signs problems. Have regular pre-operation inspections, and plan routine maintenance. This should reduce the chances of possible injuries.