According to the Health and Safety Executive around a quarter of all workplace accidents have involved forklifts. Forklifts are widely used in many businesses to move heavy materials and goods, but if used incorrectly they can be the cause of serious injury and even in some cases death.
There are three main causes of forklift accidents in the workplace; lack of operator training, inadequate premises and poor truck maintenance.
Driver training should include three stages basic training, specific job training and familiarisation training. By the end of the three stages the operator should be able to:-
- Risk factors and how accidents can happen
- How to carry out safe manual handling including good handling technique
- Appropriate systems of work for individual tasks and operating environment
- Practical experience with the trainer to allow the trainer to asses that the trainee is completely the operation safely and to put right anything the trainee is not doing safely
Inadequate premises can cause many forklift accidents, it is important to be aware of the size of warehouse aisles to ensure your forklift and its load will be able to fit easily without collisions and catching on racking. Forklifts are easily overturned due to their high centre of gravity and narrow wheel track if steered too quickly. Work area surfaces should be well maintained, free of potholes and should be kept tidy at all times. The workplace should be planned so that the layout enables pedestrians to be separated from vehicles, visibility should also be good and lighting adequate.
It is important that your forklift is serviced regularly and has a Thorough Examination carried out at least every twelve months, some trucks require testing every six months. This enables the safe running of the truck helping to avoid accidents from broken components or faulty brakes.
For more information on Thorough Examinations or forklift servicing don't hesitate to contact us.