As a forklift operator, it's easy to assume that nothing will ever go wrong. After all, you've never run into a sticky situation in the past, so you shouldn't in the future. Unfortunately, this line of thinking can result in a serious accident that can cause injury or even death.
Even the most experienced forklift operators can make mistakes that cause an accident, so it's important to follow a variety of safety tips every time you get behind the wheel. Here are a few things to consider:
- Always examine the forklift for defects and/or damage before using it
- No two forklifts are the same, so make sure you get your bearings before you take on the task at hand
- Never leave on the ignition of an unattended forklift
- Don't use a forklift in close proximity to others
- Always follow designated roadways to help lessen the risk of striking another worker
- Follow all work site rules and regulations regarding forklift use
- Keep your hands and feet inside the cabin and away from the mast
- When not in use, park the forklift in a safe place (and apply the parking brake)
While it can be a challenge to keep these forklift tips in mind, you need to do so for your safety. If you're ever part of a forklift accident, you should immediately stop what you are doing to seek medical treatment.
Also, report the accident to your employer so there is no gray area in regards to what went wrong. When applicable, you should also determine if it's in your best interest to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits.