Forklift Safety Training Protects Workplace 'Muscle Machines' and Operators

Forklift safety training teachers employees the differences between operating an automobile and 'driving' powered industrial trucks (PIT) that are used in many industries, primarily to move materials. When used correctly, these 'muscle machines' are an effective and efficient way to move, raise, lower, or remove large objects or a number of smaller objects on pallets or in boxes, crates, or other containers.

Used correctly by operators who have not received forklift safety training and these muscle machines turn into monsters as shown by these statistics from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH):

  • There are 94,750 injuries related to forklift accidents are reported each year
  • Every 3 days someone in the US is killed in a forklift-related accident – According to research conducted by the Industrial Truck Association, tip-overs account for 42% of these deaths which are most likely to occur at manufacturing facilities, following by construction sites .

Many employees are injured when vehicles are driven off loading docks or fall between docks and an unsecured trailer. Most accidents also involve property damage, including damage to overhead sprinklers, racking, pipes, walls, and machinery.

Unfortunately, according to OSHA, most employee injuries and property damage can be attributed to lack of safe operating procedures, lack of safety-rule enforcement, and insufficient or inadequate training.

OSHA Compliance

Ongoing professional education, often taught and refreshed with forklift safety training videos, is a vital part of stopping accidents and lower fatalities. It is so important, in fact, that OSHA requires every company that uses PIT devices to train their employees on safe practices and that operators become certified on the individual machines they operate.

Some of the key issues of compliance are

  • Companies must offer both classroom training and hands-on equipment evaluations
  • Companies must insure that all personnel who operate the equipment, even if only rarely, receive safety training
  • Companies must re-evaluate operators every 36 months , regardless of tenure
  • Companies must provide refresher training in the case of near-miss situations or observed unsafe operation
  • Training must cover 100% of the OSHA regulations relating to forklifts and mechanical lift trucks
  • Training must be site- and equipment-specific, meaning that operators must be tested on the actual equipment that they will use in the actual environment in which they will use it

Antidote to Accidents

Forklift safety training can help prevent the injuries that occur to pedestrians and workers who are stuck, employees during the operation of a PIT, employees falling from forklifts or being crushed, and forklifts that overturn.

"Workplace safety training has been proven to be an effective way for business owners to minimizeize risk to their people and their property by ensuring that workplace machinery is used correctly," says Mark Woeppel, President and CEO of Pinnacle Strategies, the company behind Safety- and a leading distributor of electrical safety training videos.