The forklift – one of the most useful pieces of industrial equipment, but also the most dangerous. Without a proper forklift safety training, managing a forklift can result in fatal accidents. There are tens of thousands forklift injuries reported each year, with almost a hundred of deadly outcomes in the US each year. This tells us the importance of a forklift operator training, and how crucial it is to operator’s safety. In order for to improve the efficiency, productivity, and overall safety of a workplace, one must have an ongoing and continuous training. These are the basic things you need to know about operating these lifting machines.
Forklift machines and vehicles are not that difficult to control. Having only a few mechanisms – pedals for acceleration control, breaking mechanisms, levers for crane operation – the difficulty arises from operating these mechanisms in tandem, and learning to move all these pedals and levers together.
What is the accepted way of using a forklift? Place the forks low on the ground, so they go under the load due slight acceleration. Lift the load up by raising the crane, controlled by the levers. Take the load to its destination through controlled and cautious driving. Lower the load, and then go in reverse so to bring the forks out. Beginners’ forklift safety training final exam can be passed only by perfecting these maneuver techniques.
If your job tasks require operating heavy machinery, than any kind of distractions may lead to harmful or even fatal outcomes. Accidents happen in a flash, and you should pay full attention to your task. Turn off the sound on your mobile phone, do not look anywhere else but in front of you while driving, do not pay attention to others calling you, and stop daydreaming. When you are operating a forklift – maintain your focus on the job. Pay attention to other things only when you are done with the task.
You have driven a forklift countless times before, you are experienced so the chances of having an accident are minimal, right? Wrong. Nobody is immune to accidents. Being complacent means feeling a sort of self-satisfaction, while being unaware of actual deficiencies or dangers. You can trust yourself, but the external factors cannot be controlled. Anything can happen – a forklift malfunction, another forklift may cut you off, or other things coming in your path. Pay attention to the machinery you are operating, your immediate environment, and always be in a state of alertness for unexpected events.
Refresher trainings are as important as getting a proper initial training and qualifications for using a forklift. These trainings will keep the workers updated on new operating and safety procedures, keep them from becoming complacent and help them maintain a high level of caution.
Different Vehicle Brands & Models
There is a newly bought model of a forklift vehicle brand that you have never driven before. And, oddly enough, its control panel is quite different than the panel on vehicles you are used to drive, as well as the layout of switches and pedals. Learning how to drive different brands and models of forklifts is perhaps an overlooked training issue. Also, whether it is a material lift, a scissor lift or a telescopic boom, workers should have an insight into all mechanisms, old and newly made.
Non-Operator Worker Training
Both operator and non-operator workers need to know what forklifts are all about. In order to avoid and reduce the number of lift machinery accidents, everybody should know the safety protocols.
Lifting machinery training should be free and in compliance with OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). Courses should be internationally recognized, and conducted by using a forklift simulator, which can create any kind of possible scenarios. June 10th is the National Forklift Safety Day, when administration, policymakers and customers have an opportunity to be educated on forklift operating safety practices.