Forklifts have been an integral part of industrial work for more than a century. Improvements in forklift technology over the years have enabled individual employees to lift and move thousands of pounds of material more quickly and efficiently in different work environments from warehouses and mines to airports and construction sites.
Sadly, despite the advancements, these devices continue to figure in numerous accidents. In October, an employee at a Lethbridge, Atla., tire company was killed after he was pinned by a forklift. Safety experts can give countless examples of injuries and fatalities related to forklift use.
Forklifts will likely continue to be important tools in retail distribution and manufacturing operations. So what can health and safety professionals do to ensure forklifts at their organizations are operated safely? We asked forklift trainers acrossCanadafor their insights and uncovered eight key tips for safe operation.
1. Understand what ‘safety training’ really means
2. Invest in new technology
3. Take your time
4. Slow down
5. Size up the risk
6. Expect a visit
7. Train everyone