Updated October 2014
HSE statistics show that around 8000 accidents involving forklift trucks result in injuries every year. Around ten of these are fatal.
Forklift safety is an issue we cover regularly in our workplace poster programme as it presents risks on a number of levels.
The most common cause of forklift accidents is speeding. Yards and warehouses can be hives of activity with vehicles and pedestrians all moving around at the same time. Even with designated walkways and vehicle routes, co-ordinating all these movements is a risky business.
Forklift drivers should make sure they keep to the site speed limit, slow down and sound their horn at intersections and be vigilant for those on foot. Similarly pedestrians should wear hi-viz clothing, stick to walkways, where possible, and remember to watch their backs.
Elevated loads must always be handled with caution. The size and spacing of forks must be adequate to keep the load safe and stable whilst it is being transported. Drivers should take care not to overload their vehicle and ensure their load is lowered during transportation.
The driver's visibility is paramount when operating a forklift. If this is compromised for any reason, e.g. if reversing, then a banksman should be called upon immediately to assist.
Like any piece of equipment, forklifts should be subject to regular maintenance and thorough checks before each use. If a fault is found the equipment should be removed from service immediately until repairs have been made and approved.
Forklifts can become unstable on uneven road surfaces such as potholes, cambers, slopes and humps. Drivers should avoid these conditions to minimise the risk of tipping.
Unqualified drivers are a major cause of forklift accidents. Driving a forklift is a skill that should only be undertaken by certified and competent personnel.
The Kodiak poster programme regularly covers all these issues and more.
If you would like to find out more about how Kodiak can help you to avoid forklift accidents in your workplace, why not get in touch.
For daily tips on dealing with common workplace issues, why not follow us on Twitter.
If you would like to find out how Kodiak posters can help your business work smoother, smarter and safer, please call us on: 01530 456 000 or email us.