Fleet Management & Forklift Safety Blog

Video: Precautions for Forklift Safety & OSHA Compliance

Posted by Thelma Marshall on Jul 18, 2019 4:00:00 AM

Forklift operation is not as simple as driving a car. There are several precautions that OSHA expects your warehouse or distribution center to take to help ensure forklift safety. The question is, do safety practices in your facility meet expectations?

There are a few key things you can do to create a culture of safety in your warehouse. First, watch this video to see how your software platform can make safety compliance simple.

There can be several contributing factors to impacts and injuries. These include workspace layout and design, inadequate training, improper maintenance, and failure to follow safety protocol. From training and certifying all drivers to strictly enforcing lock-out/tagout procedures, TotalTrax telematics software helps avoid costly injuries and regulatory fines while creating greater awareness for safety and productivity.

What would OSHA think of your safety practices?

Unfortunately, you never know when a workplace injury or incident could trigger an OSHA inspection and put current safety measures under scrutiny. You can help avoid this by being proactive in safety training and enforcing the use of safety checklists and proper maintenance. TotalTrax’s automated safety checklists are a proven way to reduce costly impacts, mechanical breakdowns, and worker injuries.

There are often hidden issues that increases risk in a facility. Perhaps forklift routing needs to be revised or some drivers are becoming more reckless at the end of a shift. It may be that drivers don’t meet expected skill levels or need more training.  Remember that:

  • Monitoring operator behavior for poor decision-making or risk-taking is vital, especially when drivers are fatigued.
  • The path of least resistance can be easily established with real-time forklift monitoring.
  • Retraining is important for operators who have been in the field for a long time and is required at least once every three years.

What about equipment with mechanical issues? Failing to use a lockout is one of OSHA’s most cited safety violations, resulting in the organization collecting more than $7.7 million in associated penalties each year. Employers should also ensure their current lockout/tagout procedures and programs are fully compliant with the existing standard.    open-159121_1280

For example, your facility should: 

  • Develop, document, implement, and enforce energy-control procedures. Do not be resistant to changes in technology
  • Use lockout/tagout devices that are durable, standardized, and failsafe. 
  • Ideally, vehicle-monitoring software should be capable of locking a vehicle from use after it fails a safety-checklist item or is involved in an impact. 

The fatal-injury rate for the warehousing industry is higher than the national average for all industries combined. Though some incidents may happen no matter what, safety violations are often the root cause of warehouse accidents. Your telematics solution should serve as a watchdog, enforcing safety precautions and keeping everyone in compliance with regulations.

Topics: injuries, safety improvements, OEM Systems, safety training, limit risks, forklift operators, lockout/tagout function, accident reporting

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