Each year we see tens of thousands of workplace accidents related to forklifts and other powered industrial trucks; accidents that are often caused by lack of safe operating procedures and lax safety enforcement. Most of these accidents involve employee injuries and property damage – both a high price to pay, much higher than the cost of prevention.
The first rule of safety, not only for forklift operators but for all workers, is training and education. Human error plays a huge role in workplace accidents. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) investigations of forklift-related accidents indicate that many workers are not aware of the risks of operating or working near forklifts, and they are not following the safety procedures set for by OSHA, industry consensus or equipment manufacturer guidelines for safety.
Worker training and education is a key component of forklift accident prevention. Workers need to be aware of the risks associated with their jobs and how to perform them safely. Make sure all employees are aware of the safety procedures and regulations set forth by your company, OSHA and equipment manufacturers. Training and Education is only part the safety equation.
Generally, reducing the risk of forklift accidents is a combination of comprehensive worker training, and a safe work environment that includes traffic management and clearly defined vehicle and pedestrian areas. Forklift and pedestrian traffic areas can be clearly defined with visible signage and yellow traffic lines that makes operators and workers alike aware that they are in a potentially hazardous area.
While this can make operators and employees more alert, signs and painted lines can’t physically stop or block a forklift. Using barriers, such as guardrails and handrails, to define and control the flow of traffic can actually stop an accident before it happens. Guardrails are actually designed to act as a barricade, stopping a forklift before it can run into something, or worse, someone.
Safety measures like these do require an upfront investment, but it small compared to the price of workers compensations claims, lost productivity due to damaged equipment, or high insurance premiums as a result of multiple accidents.
Ideal Shield manufactures the strongest guardrail on the market. Ideal Shield Guardrail can withstand the impact of a 12,100+ forklift traveling 4-8 mph without being damaged. Using this guardrail system you can create a safer facility and cut out guardrail repair and replacement costs. To find out more about Ideal Shield guardrail please visit http://www.idealshield.com/guardrails.