In the manufacturing industry, a forklift is an everyday use on the worksite. It works as a lifter and transporter for loads of heavy things around. Still, it is not as easy as it sounds. According to OSHA (The Occupational Health and Safety Administration), roughly 34,900 severe injuries and 85 fatal accidents are caused yearly by forklift use.
This is why we should not take forklift safety lightly. To operate one, you must be highly trained and skillful. You must be able to lift and move things with absolute deftness and precision.
The Importance of Forklift Safety
How vital is forklift safety? Let's go back to OSHA's data. Based on the reported accidents and injuries above, 25 percent are caused by inadequate training. It is not the same as driving your car. The majority of automobiles have power steering on their front wheels.
These industrial trucks have their power steering on the rear wheels. As a result, they cannot stop and swerve as quickly as you do with your cars. So chances are, you might lose control of your forklift and drop heavy things on the site.
Why Hazards in Forklift Operations Are Serious Matters
This should not be questioned anymore since the word 'hazard' itself is already obvious. Some of the hazards related to forklift use may arise from these examples:
The competence of the operator(s).
An officially certified forklift operator is more than just a legal paper. It also requires their physical and mental condition when they operate a forklift. For example: include drug influence, vision or hearing problems, and physical fitness.
The knowledge of the capacity of the forklift.
How much does the operator know about the forklift capacity they are about to use? They must also spot if there is any peculiarity in it. Knowing how to operate one from A to Z is not enough.
The forklift capacity issues.
Forklifts also come in different types, depending on the load they can take. Check out if the size and weight of the load may exceed the forklift's capability to lift and transport.
The characteristics of the load taken by the forklift.
Check out the load and find out whether it is top-heavy, cylindrical, or spherical. The last thing you want is another accident due to the improper use of the forklift type.
The forklift's condition.
Do not wait until the forklift turns defective. Even if it still seems operable, check if it has sufficient hydraulic oil, fuel, hoist mechanism, and everything else. Does the engine work well without a hitch? Are the wheels or steering jammed?
The area of the operation.
Consider this an external factor to make the forklift work well. Check for the lights and sounds and any obstacles down the road, for example, bumps, ramps, or crossroads. You must also ensure that the work schedules between operators in the same area do not clash.
Safe Forklift Operations
Based on the OSHA's Quick Card, here are some tips for safe forklift operations:
- Follow the manufacturer's instructions when operating the vehicle.
- If a seatbelt is available on the forklift, always wear it for your safety.
- Never try to lift things past the rated load and make sure it is stable and well-balanced.
- Avoid raising and lowering the load when you are on the move. Please keep it to a steady, consistent level until you reach the drop zone.
- Maintain your safe distance between your forklift and platform and also ramp edges.
- Raise your self-awareness of other vehicles on the worksite.
- Make sure you have clear visibility when it comes to the worksite. Not only that, but you also need some severe clearance for raising, loading, and operating a forklift.
- When you enter the lift, use the proper footing and handhold if there is any.
- You must use horns to signal or warn your surroundings at cross aisles and obstructed areas.
- Maintain a safe speed limit and watch out for pedestrians; Never give other staff lifts to your forklift and never use the forklift to lift people as well.
Hopefully, with these guidelines from OSHA, you can consistently practice forklift safety at work.
Nimbly's Role in Forklift Safety
So, what is Nimbly's role in forklift safety? Aside from quickly looking at it online and in real-time, it helps manufacturing companies maintain safety precautions. Their issue tracker is beneficial.