Forklifts of various types and sizes are widely used across the country. According to figures, there could be 1 million forklifts being used in thousands of workplaces across the United States. Figures also suggest that around 100 workers are killed, and around 20,000 people could be injured each year because of forklift-related accidents. Hence as forklift operators and employers, there is a need to be aware of the risks associated with these machines. Many accidents occur because of lack of knowledge. As an employer or an operator if you are informed, the chances of accidents can be reduced significantly. Here are some common dangers of forklifts which all stakeholders must be aware of if they have not been through a Forklift Train The Trainer Course.
Tipping over of forklifts is one of the most common reasons for accidents and mishaps. One out of four forklift accidents happen are related to tipping of these machines. This could happen when reversing in an incline and when the load in unstable and improperly arranged. The forks should not be moved down or up when the forklifts are moving.
Forklifts Striking Workers And Pedestrians Nearby
There have been many instances where workers and pedestrians have been dealt a deadly blow by these forklift machines. This usually happens when the forklift machine is reversing on an incline. Hence, it is always advisable to segregate workers and others when these machines are used. It would also be a good idea to restrict the use of forklifts near cafeterias, break rooms, main exits, and other such areas where the flow of workers and passersby is quite thick.
Crushing Of Victims By Forklifts
Though this might seem unlikely it has happened a few times and therefore is a real risk which cannot be ignored. Passengers should never be allowed to sit and move around in a forklift without the safety belt being in place. There are a few instances where people move around in forklifts without seats. This is dangerous and should always be avoided. While operating the machine, the operator must look for hazards, more so when they are moving around in unknown terrains and locations.
Recharging and refueling often comes with its share of risks and hazards. The risk is more with fuels like propane and diesel because of obvious reasons. However, there also have been a few incidents of accidents involving battery recharging. This is because while recharging there could be a generation of inflammable hydrogen gaseous substances. Smoking while a forklift is being refueled is a sure shot avenue to disaster and should be avoided under all circumstances.
The speed of the forklifts machines should always be under control and when it is loaded the operators should be even more careful. Speed and weight combine to add momentum, and most over speeding accidents occur when the forklift machine is fully loaded. Forklifts handle very heavy loads and therefore even if the machine is traveling at a slow pace, it could create devastating damage compared to a normal car traveling at a speed of 15 miles per hour.
The stipulated safety procedures should always be followed when operating these machines because the risks involved are quite high.