Monday, October 28, 2013

Fork Lift Safety


In fast paced working environments, safety is a very important priority.  Many of these fast paced environments involve the use of forklifts and can be very dangerous. According to statistics reported by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), they estimated that forklifts cause roughly 85 fatal accidents per year and injure roughly 35,000 others. Also, according to the Texas Department of Insurance, a loaded forklift weighs an average of close to 14,000 pounds. With this much weight, it’s not surprising how dangerous forklifts can be.

Many of these injuries could be avoided if the necessary safety precautions were taken. Proper training and use of forklifts is very important; trying to save a few seconds here and there is not worth risking the safety of yourself and others.

Three obvious but important safety tips to remember when operating forklifts or any factory machinery are:

1) Stay Focused. This might seem too obvious and simplistic, but it’s way too easy to get distracted and to mentally check out when doing something that you’re doing habitually. Focus is something that you should apply to all aspects of work, whether you’re using heavy machinery or just writing up reports.  Staying fully focused on the task at hand is a simple but effective way to stop avoidable mistakes.

2) Be Aware of Your Surroundings. This is an often overlooked safety precaution. Make sure you always look behind you the whole time you back up.  It must be more than just a quick glance before you begin to move. Surroundings can change between the beginning and the end of your travel space. Also, be aware of the location of pedestrians and slow down when you’re unsure of what is ahead. Knowing your surroundings helps you be prepared for what may lie ahead.

3) Don’t Cut Corners. From a young age we’re always told to obey the rules and do what we’re told. So it might seem unnecessary to say this. However, so often in the workplace you can be under pressure to get things done quickly and therefore feel the need to cut corners (physically and metaphorically). This can lead to going too fast and ignoring the rules you find unimportant, possibly causing accidents and potential injuries along the way. In the end cutting corners is never worth it and it’s best to realize that all safety regulations and rules have been put in place for a reason. If you suspect any corners are being cut or notice any unsafe working conditions, report it to the proper authorities immediately.

Thank you for your time and attention. Let’s make it safe this Monday.

Christopher Feigal
Demand Generation Specialist, Lift’n Buddy, a Southworth Company