As a forklift operator, you have quite a bit of training under your belt. Even if you’re well-trained and always operate your forklift with an eye toward safety, you could still be involved in an accident.
There are many steps you can take to avoid a forklift accident, including the following:
- Don’t operate a damaged forklift: A vehicle that is damaged or requires maintenance is one that increases the risk of an accident. Inspect your forklift for damage and defects before using it.
- Watch for people on the ground: From co-workers to subcontractors, you must always be aware of your surroundings. Conversely, anyone working in close proximity to a forklift should take notice of the vehicle.
- Don’t exceed the lifting capacity: Even though you learn this in training, it’s easy to push the limit to save time. Exceeding the lifting capacity increases the likelihood of tipping or dropping the load.
- Follow designated roadways: When operating a forklift at work, you can’t drive wherever you want. There should be designated roadways that you travel, as this gives everyone a clear idea of the areas to avoid.
- Never give another worker a ride: A forklift is for lifting heavy loads, not people. It sounds fun to use a forklift in this manner, but it’s a huge safety risk.
Taking these steps will enhance your safety, but doesn’t guarantee you’ll never be part of a forklift accident.
If you’re injured on the job, report the accident to your employer, seek medical care and file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits if you’re unable to return to work.