Did you know forklift accidents are one of the leading causes of all workplace fatalities? Forklifts are heavy machinery that requires appropriate safety training to reduce the risk of serious accidents and loss.
According to CCOHS (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety), some of the most common factors of forklift accidents are:
- Excessive speed
- Improper driving
- Improper warnings to others
- Poor communication
- Riding with the load elevated
- Inadequate servicing of the forklift
Without forklift safety training, operators can fall from a forklift platform or be crushed by a forklift tipping over. It can also cause accidents to people nearby, some of the most common being struck or run over by a forklift, crushed between the forklift and another surface, or struck by falling material.
It goes without saying, but all of the above highlights the importance of forklift safety. Here are five reasons organizations need to mandate forklift safety and refresher training.
1. Reduces fatalities
When operating a forklift, there is always the risk of an accident. Much like driving a vehicle without prior instruction or practice, operating a forklift without training poses an immediate danger to the operator and others. However, most forklift accidents can be prevented with proper safety training.
2. Identifies malfunctions
Forklift safety training includes a full demonstration of all controls. It’s a chance for drivers to ask questions and gain clarification about the machine’s operations. With the right knowledge, drivers can identify a problem and address the issue before it becomes a serious accident.
3. Knowledge of best practices
Companies experience significantly lower accident rates when the driver is educated and aware of best practices. The training covers essential information, such as:
- How to manage elevated loads to avoid tipping over
- Keeping the load as low to the ground as possible
- What to do if the forklift does tip over
- Proper backing up techniques
- Maintaining optimal visibility at all times
Forklift safety training also touches on regular servicing of the equipment, the forklift’s load capacity, safety features, and more.
4. Reduces costly downtime
When a forklift causes an injury, tips over, or material falls due to overloading, this causes costly downtime, reduced productivity, and lost goods. Requiring all operators to complete forklift safety training and refresher courses is an investment in the health and safety of the company.
5. Instills confidence in workers
With safety training, drivers can feel more confident in operating a forklift. Companies who put their employees through forklift training also boost morale within their workplace, as it shows care and concern for all workers’ safety.