No employer, let alone a family member, should have to experience the loss or injury of an employee or loved one because of one false move on a forklift.
Anaheim, CA (PRWEB) February 06, 2014
Remembering forklift safety in the workplace is not only essential for OSHA compliance but it's the only way to minimize warehouse injuries and avoid fatalities. This year, Donna Fauscette, managing director of the Southern California-based A-1 Forklift Certification, is encouraging companies to "get back to basics" to make sure that forklift operators make it home safely, each and every day.
"No employer, let alone a family member, should have to experience the loss or injury of an employee or loved one because of one false move when operating a forklift," Fauscette says. "Even the most experienced power industrial truck operators (PITOs) are at risk. The more 'expert' we think we are at a task, the easier it is for us to grow complacent and forget the ever-important basics."
Back-to-Basic Forklift Safety Tips
A commitment to working "Safe by Choice, not by Chance" is a core value A-1 Forklift reinforces at every opportunity. Passionate about safety both on and off the clock, Fauscette says A-1 Forklift "works with companies seeking onsite forklift training because they're required by OSHA to do so. However, our goal at A-1 is to exceed OSHA requirements by emphasizing safety as a way of life—a mindset."
To help employers and PITOs continue to stay safe and avoid injuries, Fauscette recommends getting back to these basics:
Remember the purpose of a forklift. Remembering that a forklift is designed solely to push, pull, stack and tier materials is key. Using a forklift for any other purpose—such as lifting another vehicle or transporting an employee who is not inside a safety cage can mean hazardous even fatal consequences.
Look where you're going. As with driving a regular vehicle, it's critical that forklift operators remember to look in the direction in which he or she is driving, especially when the PITO is driving in reverse with the load trailing. Never depend solely on your back-up mirrors but physically twist from the waist while keeping your eyes ahead of your wheels. Always check your surroundings, moving your eyes from front to rear; conditions change continually—people, stationary objects and traffic may suddenly appear.
Slow down. "This may sound like a no-brainer but on busy days, it's natural for employees to want to work faster," Fauscette says. Driving too quickly on a forklift makes it easier for a driver to lose control by changing the center of gravity of the forklift. PITOs should remain in the moment at all times and remember to drive at the safe operating speed.
Check for maintenance. Having a forklift that has a failing tire or hydraulic leaks can pose risks and other vehicle discrepancies when we least expect it. Ensure that PITOs to check their forklifts at the beginning of every shift. This is not only an OSHA requirement but essential for preventative maintenance. Check out this video to know what to look for in the pre-trip inspection: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68fSwKWqpyg.
Remember the fulcrum principle. PITOs should always remain conscious of how much weight their forklifts can hold and how high the mast will rise—these are listed on the data plate, placed on the forklift by the manufacturer. An oversight in this area can not only cost a company thousands of dollars in damaged, mishandled material but the effects can be deadly if the driver forgets this principle and tries to carry a load that's too heavy for his or her machine.
Talk Safety, All the Time
In addition, Fauscette urges companies to encourage the safety dialog in all staff meetings and beyond. "If you haven't already, ask your employee communications department to strategize how you can reinforce safety messages throughout the day," she says. "Marketing materials can serve as visual reminders when strategically placed in lunchrooms, locker rooms or even digitally through email or social media."
Fauscette adds: "All of these tips can help lead to a successful and safe year. Your company will keep incident reports to a minimum, reduce costs brought on from damaged materials and most important—get your employees home safe to their families every day."
View this news release and video at the A-1 Forklift Certification website: http://forkliftcertify.com/forklift_training_safety_tips_for_2014.cfm.
About A-1 Forklift Certification
A-1 Forklift Certification is a leading total service provider of forklift training and certification throughout the U.S. and Canada. Based in Anaheim, California, A-1 Forklift offers a wide selection of training courses, including online forklift certification, onsite forklift training, hands-on forklift training, aerial lift training, and train the trainer courses. All programs are OSHA-certified and set out to broaden worker and employer knowledge on the recognition, avoidance, and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplace. Learn more by visiting http://www.forkliftcertify.com.
A-1 Forklift Certification
950 N. Tustin Ave.
Anaheim, CA 92807
Phone (877) 922-5438, Fax (714) 465-5438