Whether you are a certified forklift operator or simply work in a facility where forklifts are used, practicing good forklift safety can help reduce the chance that you or one of your coworkers is injured in a workplace accident. Even if you don’t drive the forklift yourself, you should still understand a little about how one works to ensure safety.
A forklift doesn’t operate like a small car, as a golf cart or other utility vehicle often does. It’s actually steered in a different way that causes the back of the vehicle to make wide, sweeping arcs. That means you should always stand clear of a forklift when it is in operation, because you don’t want to be caught in a small blind spot where the driver might not see you.
Anyone who loads or works on loads that will be moved by forklift should be familiar with the capacity of the forklift being used. Loads that are too heavy can damage the forklift, but they can also cause it to flip, which could injure the driver and anyone standing nearby.
When forklifts are not in use, they should be parked in designated areas with the keys removed to prevent accidental operation. They should never be left running without an operator on board, and individuals who are not trained and certified to operate a forklift should never do so.
By following provisions for safety, everyone can help keep each other safe. If you are injured in a forklift accident, though, you likely are covered under workers’ compensation. Understanding how to file your claim is important, and you can find out about options by speaking to a lawyer if you are not sure what to do.
Source: Atlantic Training, “Forklift Safety Tips,” accessed May 13, 2016
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