Training and prevention help reduce forklift injuries, accidents

Posted October 22, 2020

OSHA estimates that there are nearly 1 million forklifts and nearly 1.5 million forklift operators working nation-wide. Although an essential tool, forklifts are involved in numerous workplace injuries and accidents that cause property damage and machine downtime.

The most common forklift accidents involve:

  • Tip overs,
  • Being crushed between the vehicle and a surface,
  • Being struck by the vehicle or by part of the load,
  • Falling from a platform held aloft by the forklift, and
  • Running the forklift off of a loading dock or other raised surface.

On average, there are over 100 fatalities and more than 94,500 injuries annually due to unsafe forklift operations. While these are sobering statistics, there are measures employers can take to reduce the risk of forklift injuries and accidents.

To keep pedestrians safe in the workplace, consider:

  • Separating forklift traffic and other workers where possible;
  • Limiting some aisles to workers on foot only or forklifts only;
  • Restricting use of forklifts near time clocks, break rooms, and main exits, particularly at the end of a shift or during breaks; and
  • Installing physical barriers where practical to ensure workstations are isolated from aisles traveled by forklifts.

Additionally, OSHA’s powered industrial truck (PIT) standard requires that:

  • Employers ensure each PIT operator is competent to operate a PIT safely, as demonstrated by the successful completion of the required training and evaluation;
  • Operators have both formal instruction and practical training and are evaluated at least every three years; and

Drivers successfully complete the training and an evaluation before they’re allowed to operate a PIT without direct supervision.

Forklift Training

Forklift Training

 

The J. J. Keller® Forklift Training program helps satisfy the operator training requirements under OSHA's Powered Industrial Truck Standard (1910.178(I)). Specifically, it is designed to help learners choose, inspect, and operate a forklift in a safe way, protecting themselves and their coworkers from the potential hazards associated with their use.

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