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If you are working in a warehouse or construction site, then you will most likely be very familiar with forklifts. Forklifts are an essential vehicle or tool to make the whole distribution process run much smoother, faster, and more efficient. In this article, we will go over five things you need to know about staying safe while operating a forklift.

1. Train for Safety

Keeping your employee safe begins with the proper training. The OSHA’s standards require training programs for people who work in warehouses. In regards to the forklift training, here are a few things that you should know and keep in mind.

  • There are several different types of forklifts that can require training
  • Evaluate an operator’s skills and do this by basing their expertise on equipment and conditions within a particular work environment
  • It is important to re-train every three years

2. Wear Appropriate Clothing

If you are working in a warehouse, then it is important to wear certain attire, with the most common standard of attire for warehouse and distributing centers being yellow jackets.

You will also want to wear:

  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Hard Hats
  • Safety Glasses

It is highly recommended that you wear gloves and a hard hat as greasy hands behind a forklift can cause unnecessary damage.

3. Inspect the Equipment

Daily inspections are a major benefit for those who want to keep the workflow as fluid and smooth as possible as this also falls in one with the OSHA’s guidelines. Prevention is always better than a remedy or cure. Simply inspecting and looking for any signs of damage can save you and your team from needless injuries, which in turn could be lawsuits.

4. Familiarize Your Team with Starting and Stopping the Forklift

Your team or employees should be well-versed in how the forklift operates. Your employee members should know how to start the forklift, stop the forklift, and to drive the forklift. Anyone who uses the forklift should also know where to place the keys of the forklift as well as where to park the forklift. It is very important to have everything as orderly as possible.

5. Know Your Environment

Lastly, knowing the environment is hugely beneficial for those who are driving around in a forklift. Having aisles, yellow barriers marks on the ground, and an area strictly confined to the forklift is a great way to keep injuries at a minimum.

What Might Need Improvement?

The safety of employees should be a significant priority. It is important to have a smooth and easy workflow, but it is more important to have a safe environment. Warehouse injuries are very common, and the lawsuits that companies have to pay can really hurt a business. The best way to prevent this is to do your due diligence and maintain the safest work environment as possible.

It’s not just forklift safety. Read our construction safety eye protection blog today. 

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