Top forklift safety violations and how to prevent them
Fall protection, hazard communication and scaffolding violations top the OSHA violation list again this past year. Whether you are in the US, Canada or anywhere in the world safety is important especially when working with forklifts. This year ARPAC wants to help your business avoid these safety violations and improve warehouse efficiency with ARPAC’s products and services.
Working in a warehouse requires constant vigilance from employers and employees alike. Because of the physical nature of the job, you need to be careful and be sure that safety is your number one priority. Nowhere is this truer than when you find yourself operating a forklift. The average forklift weighs about 9,000 lbs.; that’s three times the weight of your average car. Now, imagine using these machines on a warehouse floor populated with hundreds of other employees. With that picture in mind, it’s easy to see why forklift regulations are so important. At ARPAC, we provide material handling solutions for you and your business. Keep reading to find out what our experts have to say about avoiding common forklift violations on your Vancouver warehouse floor.
- Raising and lowering forks
One of the most common safety violations forklift operators make is driving with their forks in the air. When you drive your lift truck with an elevated load, there are a few different safety issues that need to be addressed. First of all, depending on your load, the elevation of your forks could seriously affect your truck’s centre of gravity. The last thing you want is to tip over in the middle of the warehouse floor. Secondly, having your load in the air could lead to falling merchandise, seriously jeopardizing the safety of those below.
- Pre-shift inspections
Put quite simply: people don’t do them. It may seem like a waste of time, but the reality of the situation is that a pre-shift inspection could alert you to a serious problem with your lift truck. Always inspect before you drive. Regular fleet maintenance can also help to avoid any emergency service or repairs.
- Proper training
Warehouse employees who operate a forklift must first be trained and authorized to do so by an accredited organization (such as ARPAC). They’re also required to be re-evaluated every two years and undergo extra training if deemed necessary. This isn’t just a formality. Thousands of injuries occur every year as a direct result of improper operator training. It’s your responsibility as an employer to ensure that your employees are up-to-date with their training and able to safely operate their vehicle.
- Excessive speeding
Always be aware of warehouse conditions when determining the proper speed for the job. Excessive speed can directly result in damaged racks, or worse, injured workers. Although there are no specific regulations governing warehouse speed limits, always be aware of your speed and your surroundings when operating a lift truck.