Forklift driving may seem quite simple from outside, but are you fully aware of the risks or dangers that may affect you while driving a forklift? Driving a forklift requires knowledge of the equipment as well as expertise and skills to handle it. A forklift is a powerful tool that allows the movement and storage of products and materials efficiently and safely. It’s the responsibility of the employer to ensure that his employee has undergone training. 

Forklift accidents cause death, serious injuries & damage to products or equipment etc. Forklift injuries cause around 85 fatalities and 35,000 serious injury accidents per year. Unlike many other vehicles, forklifts could be only operated by undergoing proper training. 

Forklift drivers who operate this machinery without training, pose an immediate danger to both themselves and everyone in the work area. The proper training could help in minimizing workplace accidents and thereby reducing huge financial loss to the company. 

 Reasons for forklift accidents 

1. Carelessness or unawareness of the forklift driver

While driving the forklift driver should be extremely careful and any case of small deviation will adversely affect the working. A poorly trained driver might not know how to respond to a changing workplace. In order to avoid these accidents, proper training must be given to the driver.

2. Using forklift by avoiding safety procedures

Sometimes due to improper training, the driver may ignore the safety procedures which will cause the forklift to behave improperly. As the safety procedures are avoided chances of accidents would be high causing the entire working process to slow down.

3. Travelling on high speed by crossing the speed limit 

The forklifts are designed to operate at very low speed compared to other lifting vehicles. If the driver violates the speed limits, it may cause the forklift to lose its control and could hit any other equipment or person.

4. Poor maintenance of forklifts

Forklifts are bulk machines and require proper checking frequently. If the maintenance is not done regularly the device may tend to misbehave causing accidents in the workplace.

5. Lack of proper training for employees

Employees in some companies may not be given proper training on various workplace procedures. Due to this, he may not be aware of how to behave under different circumstances. 

6. Block in view of drivers in the workplace

Some situations may occur in the workplace which may cause blocking the view of drivers. It may be either by equipment, material, vehicle or even by another forklift. Due to this, the driver may not have a clear vision which may end up in accidents.

7. Improper parking of forklifts

The parking of forklifts always causes problematic situations. When the forklift is not properly parked it may cause hindrance for transportation or lifting which may result in a waste of manhours. 

8. Not wearing seatbelts while driving

Seatbelts have great importance while we are driving any type of vehicle. While operating a forklift it is necessary for the driver to put on his seatbelt. As he is operating a machine it could really save his life in case of any accidents. Some people still are hesitant in wearing a seatbelt which could create problems if any unwanted incident happens.

9. Poor communication during shared tasks

When it comes to shared tasks communication has a great role. In some instances, one or more forklifts may be operating simultaneously which needs proper communication. Lack of communication could be extremely dangerous even result in unwanted collisions.

10. Improper loading procedure

The loading process should be done under strict supervision. The loads may be of different sizes and shapes and should be handled with care. The forklift operator should be aware of different loading procedures that should be done in the workplace. A large number of accidents are happening every year due to improper loading techniques which could easily be avoided by proper training. 

The advantages of a certified Forklift training course

1. Reduce the risk of accidents 

Once the operator undergoes proper training, it will be easy for him to operate according to the circumstances. He will be aware of the tips & techniques that should be implemented for safe driving. After the training, the operator could recognize the potential hazards and also should be aware of how to handle heavyweights. This training will help them to reduce accidents in the workplace.

2. Reduces the cost 

Forklift accidents not only cause damage to the employees but also causes the extra cost to the company. The damages to equipment or products and the medical cost of the employees will sometimes be a huge burden to the employer. After the training is completed these accidents may be reduced which helps in limiting these unwanted expenses which will be a great surplus in terms of the employer. 

3. Increases business productivity 

When the operators are perfectly trained, they will do more work in limited time which increases the overall productivity of the business. The training will help the operator to work with more focus and safety. With less risk of accidents, the business need not be worried about the cost of repair and loss of time which increases productivity. A productive business also builds a good reputation in the market.

4. Ensure safety 

Safety has always prime importance in the workplace. When forklift accidents reduce it automatically increases the safety in the workplace too. As the forklift operator has undergone training he will work without causing any accidents or mishappenings. When the work is done by implementing all safety procedures it creates a safe working environment.

5. Increased equipment life

Machines are an investment for any business and it is important to take every step to prevent damage to the equipment. A trained forklift operator will use the equipment properly and always make sure that all the equipments are safe throughout the working process. As the equipment life is increased it will be a big positive to the overall business.

Safety keeps a business viable and helps in the smooth running of the business. Since the workers are said to be the mirror images of one’s business, it is essential to make the forklift usage safe. If you still haven’t enforced a forklift training course for your workers, now it’s the best time. 

Olive Safety specializes in providing comprehensive lessons to educate the workforce about the proper handling of forklifts using practical and efficient techniques. The courses are designed to ensure every lesson is easy to absorb with proper detailed applications and also all safety procedures are covered during the completion of the course.