Not only does this week mark the first ever OSHA-sponsored Safe and Sound Week, but today, June 13, 2017, is also National Forklift Safety Day.
Each year, about forklift incidents result in about 61,800 non-serious injuries, 34,900 serious injuries, and 85 fatalities, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). About 42% of those accidents are people being crushed by a vehicle tipping over, and another 25% are people being crushed between vehicle and surface.
On National Forklift Safety Day, many groups including the Industrial Truck Association, are working to get the word out on the importance of proper forklift safety practices, especially the need for effective operator training. The ITA also meets with government officials on National Forklift Safety Day to discuss what lawmakers can do to help improve forklift safety nationwide.
Forklift Safety Tips
While a training course is needed to properly educate a forklift operator, here are some helpful tips to remember the next time you get behind the controls of a forklift according to OSHA:
- Inspect the forklift for damage before each use, and if damage is found, report it to a supervisor
- Know the load limit of your vehicle
- Honk your horn at all cross aisles to help avoid collisions with pedestrians
- Always look in the direction of travel. If the load blocks your view, travel in reverse
- To avoid tipover, never turn while on a grade
- Do not travel with the load elevated