Forklifts look like golf carts and golf carts are easy to drive around, but unlike them, forklift trucks are not easy to control and if anyone thinks like that then that’s the first mistake towards causing accidents. Each year, around 1000 – 1300 injuries are caused by forklifts in the U.K with many of them turning into fatalities. In one case an operator suffered a leg amputation after falling off an industrial forklift at a shipping facility, and in another case, a worker at a steel factory was knocked over by a forklift when the operator lost control.
These are just two examples of many mishaps that have caused serious injuries, property damage, loss of inventory and above all loss of lives. Now the questions to be asked here are, what causes such mishaps to occur? And what can we do to prevent them?
First of all, let’s understand what causes such accidents, and the first reason is the inexperience of the operators. An operator who cannot handle the machine properly, cannot carry the inventory, will act poorly at the sight of obstacles and can’t perform correct manoeuvres on slopes can easily be deduced as an inexperienced operator. They will cause more damage than yield due to their immaturity.
Speeding is another “don’t” that must be considered while operating a forklift, controlling the speed of a forklift while carrying heavy loads will be very difficult, especially if an obstacle comes in front. If it happens then this will cause serious accidents and injuries. Also, an operator needs to be vigilant and avoid turning at high speed because it can cause the forklift to tumble.
Facilities that aren’t well equipped with proper floor marking also become a hub for accidents. The floor markings and warnings signs let pedestrians, workers and operators know if a forklift is approaching and helps them maintain a safe distance. If a facility lacks these markings then collisions are bound to happen.
It’s important to buy correct parts of the forklift so that they fit naturally and securely otherwise faulty equipment which falls off the forklift can also cause inventory damage and injury. Also, if the loads aren’t secured tightly onto the forklift they can fall and break and if anyone is standing nearby they can get hurt. Sometimes workers themselves sit or stand on the forks, this must also be avoided as it is dangerous and can prove to be fatal.
Now how do we avoid tragedies to occur? As far as facilities are concerned they should be given proper advisories about the workplace and its safety. Firstly the design of the facility should be broad and mustn’t have narrow aisles or uneven surface. Quality equipment, correct spare parts must be bought and fixed appropriately so that they don’t fall off or detach while driving. Payloads should be secured tightly onto the forklift and checked for loose ends before moving forward.
As far as operators are concerned, what these drivers need is certified forklift training programs like RS Forklift Training Program in Birmingham and West Midlands to grant them the correct technical knowledge on how to operate a forklift. The course starts from the basics and teaches them all the practical knowledge, also they conduct written tests, behavioural exams, reflex tests, driving evaluation and also an eye test which helps separate competent candidates from the unskilled lot.
Forklifts, often referred to as the workhorses of warehouses and industrial settings, play a vital role in ensuring...