Miss National Forklift Safety Day? Know This:

forklift-151874_640National Forklift Safety Day, which was June 13 this year, coincides with two other safety-focused designations. June 12-18, 2017, is also Safe and Sound Week, and the National Safety Council celebrates June as National Safety Month. If ever there is a time to get serious about safety, your resources are abundantly available right now.

If you’re in manufacturing, National Forklift Safety Day is especially important to note. According to mmh.com’s article, “Importance of operator training focus of National Forklift Safety Day 2017,” OSHA reports that “After completing forklift operator training, operator performance scores improved by 61%.”

That’s an extremely significant improvement given the statistics about forklifts. Graphic Products has an eye-opening infographic that summarizes forklift safety and the need for it. Some of the facts it highlights:

  • About 20,000 workers are injured in forklift accidents every year
  • An estimated 110,000 forklift accidents happen each year
  • These accidents cost businesses $135,000,000 every year
  • About 70% of the accidents could have been avoided with proper training
  • Forklift-related citations are consistently among OSHA’s top ten violations every year, being the 6th most cited in both 2015 and 2016

These are just a few of the factors that drive the need for forklift safety education. During the fourth annual National Forklift Safety Day, hosted by the Industrial Truck Association, mmh.com reports that seminars were offered along with other important presentations:

“This year’s speakers from the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries and OSHA, along with elected officials and industry representatives, articulated the effectiveness of training to support successful safety programs across a broad spectrum of industries.”

If you missed out, here are some valuable things to know about forklift safety.

Common Hazards:

  • Excessive speeds and/or imbalanced loads can cause forklifts to tip over. 22% of forklift fatalities are due to overturned forklifts
  • Forklift drivers are prone to hitting pedestrians when they do not see them and when floor markings are missing or incorrect. 20% of forklift fatalities are workers on foot who were struck by a forklift
  • Unsecured loads can fall, crushing drivers or pedestrians. This accounts for 16% of fatalities
  • Workers can easily fall if they stand on the forklifts, which leads to 9% of forklift fatalities

What can You do?

  • Be diligent about ensuring that loads are balanced and secure to prevent tipping
  • Only travel where you can see – if your load blocks your forward view, travel in reverse
  • Carry the load as close to the ground as possible while in transit
  • Watch for signs, markings, and other indications that pedestrians may be present
  • Use the horn at intersections
  • Abide by speed limits and other warning signs
  • Use safer, less expensive equipment for horizontal movement

For most businesses, forklifts are being used to drive far more than to lift. In these cases, you can remove a substantial amount of danger by simply using a tug and cart system. A battery-operated tug pulling any number of carts provides full visibility, keeps loads on the ground, and keeps the operator and other pedestrians safe. Tugs or cart movers eliminate all the common hazards associated with forklifts, and they can move more in one load than a forklift can. To discuss your options, contact Load Mover Inc. We’ll help you determine exactly what you need and how the equipment can be used for the best ROI. Call 952-767-1720 or email info@loadmoverinc.com.