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3 Ways to Prevent Common Forklift Accidents

by Jerry Gorham on October 19, 2017
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common forklift accidents and how to prevent themForklift accidents represent only 1% of total industrial accidents in the U.S, but they create 10% of reported physical injuries - 10,000/year. These accidents cost companies more than $135 million dollars a year and many are avoidable.

Learn more about common forklift accident causes and three simple ways to prevent them.

Protect Pedestrians from Forklifts

On average, there are 100 forklift-related fatalities each year in the United States, and many involve pedestrians. Even the most experienced forklift operator can accidentally strike a pedestrian due to bad visibility, the pedestrian’s lack of awareness, and other factors.

In an ideal world, forklifts and pedestrians would use separate pathways separated by steel guard rails. But this isn’t cost-effective for most operations.

Instead of physical barriers, many warehouses rely on floor tape and the common sense of their staff. Unfortunately, tape is easy to ignore, and many pedestrians don’t realize forklifts can weigh as much as a bus and don’t stop on a dime.

Pedestrian training and good warehouse design can significantly improve the safety of your operation. Invest in products that improve visibility and communication such as:

- Blue safety lights for the front and rear of the lift truck
- Safety mirrors on aisle corners, ceilings and rack uprights
- Ensure all areas of your facility are well-lit
- Vinyl strip doorsWarehouse-Steel-Guards-Rails.jpg
- Brightly-painted steel barriers for high-traffic areas
- Implement annual warehouse safety training for all employees, not just forklift operators

With the right combination of warehouse design and training, you can greatly reduce the odds of a costly (and potentially traumatic) forklift accident in your facility.

 

Forklift Operator Training and Refresher Training

Proper training, including refresher training, can reduce your insurance premiums, money spent on forklift repairs and decrease your liability in the event of an accident. Yes, you will still be liable for an accident even if the operator has received training, but the liability for an operator who’s never been trained is much greater.

25% of forklift accidents are the result of improper training, and come with an OSHA fine of up to $70,000!

Many warehouse managers overlook OSHA regulation 1910.178(l) (4) which says refresher training in relevant topics shall be provided to the operator when: An operator has been observed to operate the vehicle in an unsafe manner The operator has been involved in an accident or near miss incident. The operator has been assigned to operate a different type of truck A condition in the workplace changes in a manner that could affect safe operation of the truck. Learn more about forklift operator refresher training. Or, get details and pricing for on-site forklift training at your location.

 forklift safety infographic

Use a Forklift Designed with Safety in Mind

Toyota makes the world’s best-selling forklifts, due in part to their reputation for quality, reliability and commitment to safety innovations. Toyota forklifts meet and exceed both American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requirements. Standard safety features on a Toyota lift truck typically include:

- Welded overhead guards
- Operator restraint systems
- Manually operated horns
- Skid-resistant entry/exit steps
- Operator assist grips
- Toyota's System of Active Stability (SAS)

Toyota ranked #1 for safety and low cost of ownership  in a 2016 survey of professionals involved in the evaluation of material handling equipment. Respondents represented industries including: shipping and transportation, manufacturing, distribution, and warehousing and storage. The study, conducted by Peerless Research Group, found Toyota Forklifts lead the industry in quality, value, cost of ownership, and safety, including the categories of “most affordable to maintain in terms of safety” and “fewest safety-related incidents.”

To learn more about Toyota forklifts or products to enhance the safety of your operation, contact us online  or by phone.

East Bay - Livermore (510) 675-0500
Fresno (559) 834-9500
Sacramento (916) 376-0500
Salinas (831) 757-1091

Read a more in-depth list of factors that cause forklift accidents  including corporate policy, pallet issues and warehouse design issues. Or, visit our comprehensive forklift safety and warehouse safety guide - with stats, tips and other great info.

 

Forklift Certification in California

Topics: Forklift Safety, Warehouse Safety, Forklift

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