Loss Control Insights

Recharge Your Forklift Driving Practices

Driving and operating a forklift safely

Forklifts are so common in warehouses, construction sites and factories that it’s easy to forget they can cause accidents and even loss of life. Make sure your forklift drivers are safety conscious and use best practices, and that those working alongside forklift operators take the dangers seriously.

Steps to Mobilize Forklift Safety Practices

  1. Remind forklift operators and employees working close to forklift activity of potential dangers. According to OSHA, there are nearly 62,000 forklift accidents each year and 85 fatal ones. Seventy percent of those accidents could have been avoided with training and a good company policy. These injuries are often caused by a forklift tipping over or workers being stuck or crushed by the forklift.
  2. Develop a forklift safety policy, including training. EMC Senior Engineer Paul Porter says that as the number of forklifts in the workplace increases, so does the need for safety procedures. “A written policy for forklift operation is a necessary part of a company’s safety policy, as is a strong training and retraining program,” Paul adds. For assistance in creating or revamping a policy, he recommends starting with the EMC Forklift Safety Program Template.
  3. Reinforce the basics. In addition to reviewing policies and offering periodic training, it pays to remind operators that safety measures are designed to protect them and their fellow employees. EMC Safety Briefs include checklists for starting a forklift, driving one, and loading and unloading. Check out the Driving and Operating a Forklift and the Loading and Unloading Forklifts briefs for more information.
  4. Investigate new technologies that help improve the safety of those working with or near forklifts. Stay up to date on the latest safety technology trends to keep your workers safe. Paul’s suggestion for a current forklift upgrade is a collision avoidance system that notifies workers of forklift movement by using LED lights. Watch this YouTube video demonstrating this system.

More Forklift Resources
Check out these resources for help with creating your forklift training program.