Forklift Safety Rules

The forklift is one of the most commonly used equipment on the worksite. These industrial trucks are used to lift and transport loads with deft and precision. Although forklifts are powerful, there is risk involved in operating these industrial machines.

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) estimates that forklift accidents cause roughly 34,900 serious injuries and 85 fatal accidents every year. Even more alarming is that 25 percent of these accidents are the result of inadequate training. This highlights the importance of educating every forklift operator for safe forklift operation.

Below are some important points on forklift safety for smooth operation of your site:

1. Get training from certified institute: Skilled, trained operators form an integral part of growth strategy. “NIFOT” (National Institute for Operator Training) has been set up to address training needs of GEAR and their Customers. “NIFOT” is a licensed training institute in accordance with OSHA standards. Contact GEAR India for more details.

2. Wear proper clothing: Forklift operators should be provided with the appropriate safety equipment, including safety shoes, hard-hats and a high-visibility jacket.

3. Inspect the equipment: Forklifts should be thoroughly inspected before every use. Daily checks with the shift supervisor are recommended to identify and log any problems or defects. Any equipment that requires repair should never be operated.

4. Follow the rules: When a forklift is being used, it is important to follow all worksite rules, signs and regulations, to maintain operator safety as well as protect the others on the site

5. Have 360° visibility: Drive the load as low as possible. Keep clear forward visibility. Always look in the direction of travel.

6. Follow the floor marks and signs: A floor marking system can help increase worker safety. Implement and follow marks, arrows, signs. Use appropriate color codes where ever applicable. Eg. Yellow designates caution and Red is for fire hazards.

7. Never carry extra people: Do not allow other workers to ride on the equipment with you unless a second seat is fitted into the forklift.

8. Do not overload the forklift: Make sure you do not overload and balance the load to prevent the forklift from tipping over. Ensure both forks are as far under the load as possible before lifting.

9. Track your speed: Keep a track on the speed of your forklift. Forklifts may tip over, due to excessive speed.

10. Know the common forklift hazards: Be aware of the common hazards related to your forklift to avoid similar mistakes / accidents.

Before any employee takes control of a forklift, ensure they’re trained in accordance with OSHA requirements. Employers must have a training program that incorporates general principles of safe operation, the types of vehicle(s) used, any hazards created by using forklifts & industrial trucks and OSHA’s general safety requirements.