If you're not sure about the answers to the questions above, your operation may be at risk for a serious accident, expensive repairs, and possibly an OSHA fine.
Forklift and warehouse safety affect all aspects of a business. When an employee is injured, morale and productivity decline. If equipment or product is damaged, your bottom line takes a direct hit.
Learn more about the steps you can take to improve the safety of employees, warehouse staff, forklift operators, and your loading dock. We'll cover accident and injury statistics in addition to preventative programs, products, training and other measures designed to prevent expensive problems before they happen.
Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and OSHA.
Safety training is one of the best investments a facility manager can make. Here are just a few reasons why:
Many fleet managers aren’t aware OSHA requires forklift safety training more frequently than every three years if the operator has been observed to operate a lift truck in an unsafe manager, was involved in an accident or near-miss, or a few other reasons.
Small injuries and long-term strain can add up to a big problem for the forklift operator and the employer. But ergonomic forklift options and ergonomic accessories can help prevent common forklift operator injuries.
An OSHA study found 25% of forklift accidents are due to inadequate operator training, but what about the other 75%? Read about safety products and solutions to prevent common forklift accidents.
Pre-shift forklift inspections are required by OSHA, but this vital daily requirement* is often overlooked. Either the employer doesn’t know they are required, or they feel as though these inspections are a waste of time. It’s easy to think that, until the unthinkable happens.
*Inspections should be conducted before every shift for multi-shift operations.
Safety inspection checklists should be tailored to your operation. You can compare OSHA’s example with the forklift inspection checklists created by our material handling team. All you’ll see, we have a specific checklist for electric forklifts, narrow-aisle forklifts, IC lift trucks and so on. Feel free to download them for use in your facility!
Safety checklists are an important preventative measure to avoid injuries and fines. That said, making a safety checklist available isn’t enough. If you have one or two forklifts and multiple operators, it might not be clear who’s responsible for the initial inspection. Another common problem is what employees are supposed to do if and when they find a problem. Management should provide clear direction on how to document a problem or defect.
Download free forklift inspection checklists in English or Español. Available checklists include:
Aerial lifts are ideal for painting, warehouse rack maintenance and other overhead work. Whether you own, lease or rent an aerial lift, there are important safety procedures to follow.
Read more about aerial and scissor lift safety - including how to prevent one of the top three causes of aerial lift injuries and fatalities.
Or, schedule an aerial platform training and certification course at your facility. Training helps employers reduce the risk of property damage as well as employee injury or death. It also ensures compliance with OSHA and Cal OSHA regulations.
The fatal injury rate for warehousing employees is higher than the national average for all industries (source: OSHA). Accidents not only cost money, they take an emotional toll on your staff. But year after year, the same safety violations make OSHA’s most-cited list. They include:
Forklift Safety - Not Just for Operators Forklifts can weigh up to 9,000 pounds and travel at up to 18 mph. Most people know they are powerful machines, but how many of your employees know how to stay safe around forklifts?
All employees who enter your warehouse should receive forklift safety training. Here are just a few reasons why:
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and OSHA.
Approximately 25% of warehouse injuries occur on the loading dock, and they don’t always involve forklifts. Weather, moving trucks, forklifts and other factors make loading docks a hazardous area.
OSHA has a webpage about loading dock safety, and many of their recommendations include common sense tips including conducting a warehouse safety audit in addition to a daily safety inspection. Ensure the loading dock floor is dry and free from trash and spills, paint the edges of the loading dock to improve visibility and use curbed ramps and dock boards to keep lift trucks from sliding.
Many loading dock accidents can be prevented using dock locks and vehicle restraints. Dock locks are inexpensive and take up very little space. In addition to preventing worst-case scenarios, such as a forklift falling off your dock, you may get a discount on your insurance for investing proactive safety measures.
The most popular types of loading dock vehicle restraints are a Lock & Load, which mounts cantilever-style to the dock face, and the Truck Lock.
Incident prevention is key. Below are some additional articles to help your business run more safely and efficiently.
Please contact us if you have any questions about the information in this article.
Let us come to your facility, at your convenience, (including nights & weekends) to train and certify all your powered industrial truck and powered pallet jack operators!
With over ten years of training experience & certifying thousands of operators in the safe use of all types and makes of forklifts. Our instructors are very knowledgeable of the current regulations, and will customize your training class to ensure complete compliance with federal and state OSHA requirements.