Forklifts are used in various fields outside of construction as they aid workers in lifting and moving heavy objects or materials that otherwise couldn’t be moved by an individual themselves. As helpful and reliable as these machines are, they can be dangerous when the person operating them isn’t properly trained or neglects to implement the safety measures they should be to prevent an accident. Did you know that “approximately 100 employees are fatally injured and approximately 95,000 employees are injured every year while operating powered industrial trucks” [Source: Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)]? In fact, OSHA also highlights that “forklift turnover account for a significant number of these fatalities.”

With the field of construction already being one of the most dangerous to work in, below we are sharing with you a few forklift safety measures that can be implemented in 2019 to help keep you and those working around you safe.

Safety Tips for Employers:

  • Train and certify all operators to ensure that they are able to operate a forklift safely. It is essential that you only have workers who are trained and certified to be operating a forklift working on one. A driver who is inexperienced or who has not been properly trained will only contribute to making the work environment riskier and the last thing you want is a serious accident occurring that results in one or more of your workers sustaining an injury.
  • OSHA says that you should not allow any employee under the age of 18 to operate a forklift.

Safety Tips for Employees:

OSHA recommends that employees apply these safety tips when operating a forklift:

  • Properly maintain haulage equipment, including tires.
  • It is not recommended that you modify or make attachments that will affect the capacity and safe operation of the forklift without written approval from the manufacturer of the forklift.
  • Take the time to examine the forklift truck for defects before using it.
  • Follow the safe operating procedures provided by your employer and/or from the equipment manual for picking up, moving, putting down and stacking loads.
  • Drive responsibly and avoid traveling at more than 5 mph. Be sure to slow down when approaching congested areas or slippery surfaces.
  • Never encourage or engage in stunt driving and horseplay when operating a forklift.
  • It is important that you do not attempt to handle loads that are heavier than what the industrial truck is capable of lifting and/or moving.
  • Remove unsafe or defective forklift trucks from service as they could cause you or someone around you to get hurt.
  • If you are operating the forklift, be sure you are always wearing your seatbelt.
  • It is best that you avoid traveling with elevated loads.
  • Assure that rollover protective structure is in place.
  • Make certain that the reverse signal alarm is working and can be heard above the surrounding noise level.

Although most of us who work in risky or hazardous environments try our best to avoid an accident, sometimes they occur. And if you were recently involved in a forklift accident or another construction incident that has led to you suffering an injury, you may want to consult with Albuquerque, NM construction accident lawyer Brian K. Branch. The reason being is that you are probably entitled to receive several benefits and our firm wants to be certain you are getting the help and support you need and deserve right now.

Therefore, if you are interested in learning more about worker’s compensation benefits and which ones your employer should be providing you with, contact the Law Office of Brian K. Branch, PC to get an initial consultation scheduled.