TIPS TO MAINTAIN FORKLIFT SAFETY THROUGHOUT THE YEAR


National Forklift Safety Day is right around the corner! 2019 is the sixth anniversary of an event that highlights the importance of operator training as well as the safe and proper uses of material handling equipment. National Forklift Safety Day comes once a year, but YKI knows that forklift safety is a practice that demands a year-round commitment. The best way to make sure your operation functions as a safe work environment is to have a plan for both your operators and your facility. Below are some tips your facility can use to maintain safe equipment use all year.


QUALIFIED OPERATORS


OSHA requires that all forklift operators be trained before legally operating a forklift. Failure to do so can result in fines for your operation. Why is training so important? The National Safety Council reported that 70% of all industrial accidents are a result of operator error.  According to OSHA, proper training may reduce accident rates by up to 30%. YKI can train your operators to become qualified to operate any class of lift truck. 


However, operator training alone is not enough. Employers must reevaluate the licensed operators every three years to ensure skills are still up to par. Employers are also responsible to train operators are each type of equipment they will use. For example, if an employee would one drive an electric sit-down counterbalanced truck, they do not need to be trained on how to operate a Class II Very Narrow Aisle Truck. Operator should read and understand the operator’s manual of their lift trucks.


ENSURE OPERATORS KNOW THEIR FORKLIFT AND FACILITY


Operators should know everything about the forklift they operate as well as when and where the forklift will be used. A daily checklist inspection should be completed before a shift begins. Doing these things allow the operator to be familiar with any potential warning signs which can prevent an accident due to malfunction or a large service bill.


When evaluating forklift operators, it is important that they’re familiar with their facility. Any evaluation or training should take place in the actual environment where they will use the forklift daily.


ENSURE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY


Pedestrians in areas where forklifts are in use share the responsibility of keeping a safe work environment. Important things to remember are to stick to designated walkways, wear safety googles and closed-toe shoes when required, as well as understand that a forklift operator may not be able to see you.


YALE KENTUCKIANA IS HERE TO HELP


Establishing a culture of safety in your facility will go a long way to preventing accidents. YKI is here to help if you questions regarding operator training, ordering operator’s manuals for your equipment or making sure equipment is in safe or working condition. Call us at (888) 269-3198 and we’ll be happy to get you the information you need.