Cindy Hartley - Marketing Manager
The need for forklift safety is something you would think would be obvious. Forklifts are large, heavy machines with moving and protruding parts, restricted visibility, and a considerable amount of power.
But yet, there are tens of thousands of forklift safety incidents every year.
According to the Industrial Truck Association there are more than 850,000 forklifts in the United States. Annually, over 11% of these forklifts are involved in a safety incident, and tragically about 85 of these incidents result in a fatality.
The majority of these safety incidents are the result of three causes:
- Insufficient or inadequate forklift training.
- Failure to follow safe forklift operating procedures, including speed.
- Lack of enforcement of safety rules, for example not using a forklift to elevate workers standing on forks.
OSHA requires employers to develop and implement a training program based on the general principles of safe truck operation, the type of vehicle being used, the hazards created by use of the vehicle, and general safety requirements of the OSHA standards.
Safety is our core value. We employ several hundred forklift operators and we instill safety as a value from Day One. When we hire forklift operators without previous experience, RGL offers a forklift training school. The training exceeds OSHA standards for learning forklift characteristics, procedures for handling loads, and safe loading and unloading procedures. A mandated small class size insures that there is individualized one-on-one training.
Proper forklift training does more than raise risk awareness, it helps prevent accidents in the workplace. It will also help forklift operators handle mechanical emergencies, hazards specific to the workplace and operating environment, and the importance of load center and center of gravity to keep the lift from tipping over.
Forklift training should not be taken lightly. It is important for safety.