An important part of forklift safety is being able to understand how accidents can happen in the warehouse and how to prevent them. More than 50,000 warehouse workers are injured in forklift related accidents every year in the United States alone. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration estimates that 70% of these accidents are preventable. Here are four ways to avoid accidents or injuries in your warehouse this year:

Train Your Employees. 

The smartest thing a business owner can invest in is his/her employees. Consider annual training courses for your warehouse staff to keep them sharp and knowledgable about the tools and machines they are using. When you take the time to properly train your employees, they will be reminded of the importance of workplace safety.

Drive safe.

A large portion of forklift accidents happen when operators are driving irresponsibly. Make sure that your forklift operators are mindful of pedestrians and are driving at safe speeds in your warehouse. You should also consider screening your employees for any visual impairments they may have to ensure they are wearing corrective eye-ware while operating company machinery. Your drivers need to remember that if they are driving irresponsibly they are putting not only themselves at risk, but others as well.

Make sure that your forklifts are inspected and maintained. 

Daily check-ins with your forklifts will help increase their lifespan and ensure that any potential issues are caught before they turn into serious problems. Here are some things to look for when inspecting your forklifts:

  • Grease or any flammable material
  • Loose fuel connections
  • Low fluid levels
  • Frayed or exposed wires
  • Low tire pressure
  • Cracked forks

Only carry loads your lift can handle. 

Don’t put too much pressure on your forklift. Taking more trips for smaller loads might be more time consuming, but your forklift will thank you in the long run. Not only is improper loading damaging to your forklift, but it is unsafe to the operator. 

(Operations Manager)

Chris Charles is a 27 year veteran of operations and logistics. Experience included commercial property management and project management for an international shipping company in Maryland.

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