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Common sense forklift safety

On Behalf of | Oct 24, 2017 | Workplace Injuries, Workplace Safety |

Throughout Denver, there are many manufacturing facilities and warehouses that require employees to operate a forklift as part of their daily job responsibilities. Operating a forklift comes with its own set of risks, so it’s critical that employees receive proper training and safety resources prior to utilizing this equipment.

These safety tips are designed to help Denver workers use a forklift cautiously yet effectively:

Use caution when getting onto or down from a forklift

Some of the most common injuries while using a forklift happen when an individual is getting on or off of the equipment. Safety risks of mounting and dismounting including head injuries as well as injuries that result from slips or falls from the equipment. To prevent injury, be sure to wear the appropriate footwear at all times at work. You should invest in footwear that has non-slip and non-skid features. Always be sure that your hands are dry before you reach for a handle, so that you don’t inadvertently slip while getting on or off of the equipment.

Do an inspection prior to operating the forklift

Your company should have a checklist available for you to use in order to inspect your equipment prior to each use. It is necessary to do this each and every time that you use the forklift, so that you can identify any potential hazards prior to operating the equipment. After the inspection is complete and you have successfully mounted the vehicle, you need to test the horn and any alarms to make sure that these warnings are audible and in good working order. This is also a good way to advise pedestrians and other employees in the area that you are  in the vicinity and about to use the equipment.

Stay within safe operating speed

There are many reasons why it is important to operate a forklift at a safe and slow speed at all times. First and foremost, you need to proceed initially with caution in the event that there is someone in the area who is not aware that you are operating the equipment. You also need to continue at a safe speed in case you encounter an obstruction along your planned path. If you are going too fast, you will not be able to stop in time. In addition, operating a forklift at a high rate of speed can increase your risk of tipping the vehicle or with colliding with another individual in the workplace.

Watch for pedestrians near the forklift

Only operate the forklift if you have complete and total visibility, and utilize all warning signals whenever necessary. It’s important to keep in mind that there may be people in the workplace that cannot see or hear your equipment. In many cases, the volume in a warehouse is loud and some workers may not be able to hear the noise of your equipment or the warning signals. Always check your blind spots and keep an eye out for pedestrians who may be in your path as you operate the forklift.

Never leave a running forklift unattended

The forklift is considered unattended if you are more than 25 feet away from the vehicle — even if you can still see the forklift. It also is considered unattended if you are not in view of the equipment. If you leave the forklift unattended and you do not properly park or secure the vehicle, you run the risk of the forklift moving unexpectedly or another individual colliding with the equipment. It is critical that you park your forklift in its proper space and secure it before moving onto your next task.

Your workplace is required to adhere to all OSHA guidelines, and it’s important that you are provided with safety training and any safety equipment that is needed to operate the forklift.

To learn more about operating a forklift safely and to find out about workers’ rights in Denver, contact our law firm today.


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