Forklift accidents are costly, but most are preventable — if you have the insight to avoid common safety pitfalls.
According to an article on DC Velocity, today’s forklifts are designed to be safer. But new telematics software takes it to a new level, mitigating risks and managing safety protocol when an impact occurs.
Safety can cost you
Each year, about 80,000 - 90,000 injuries and about 100 fatalities result from unsafe forklift operation.
According to Fleet Management Weekly, OSHA inspectors conduct about more than 83,000 workplace inspections each year, issuing over 2,000 citations for serious forklift violations. Those fines typically range from $500 - $7,000.
Manufacturers have improved equipment standards to support safer operation in 3 key ways.
- Operator presence systems: Prevents forklifts from traveling without a driver seated properly at the controls
- Improved visibility: Wider cabin openings to improve sight lines in all directions.
- Lift truck telematics: Systems help monitor operators' driving habits, track impacts, collect and store OSHA-required information, and analyze the data — identifying operators requiring additional training.
Identify risks, cut impacts with telematics
Today’s telematics platforms help companies avoid those safety pitfalls through retraining and regular equipment maintenance, eliminating the majority of forklift accidents and injuries.
For example, TotalTrax SX200 currently reports on over 64 event types and allows organizations to create custom events and alerts to accommodate their facilities.
Here are the top 5 SX200 safety features:
1. Customized safety checklists:
- A list of safety messages and questions — based off of OSHA standards — that must be completed to operate the vehicle
- Option to set the system to “chirp” on failed critical questions
- If any critical questions fail, the vehicle can be disabled until it has been checked or until maintenance has been completed
2. Manages operator certification:
- Shows that an operator is certified before driving a particular forklift model, so only certified/trained operators have access to vehicles
- The system notifies management of upcoming expirations
- If a certification expires, the driver cannot start any associated vehicles until recertified.
3. Oversees impacts/events:
- Horn always sounds when an impact is detected
- Impact alerts can be managed, customizing who is notified
- Optional lockout of vehicle when a critical impact event occurs
4. Safety reporting:
- An impact summary of all events for each unit — which includes the number of impacts and severity — reported by unit or by operator, to help identify patterns
- A safety check report shows successful completion of checklist questions, any failures, and if system was reset
- Impact trend chart shows total number of impacts over a span of time (i.e. week to week, month to month)
5. Locates units quickly:
- The unit locator shows where a vehicle is located if an alert was received due to a critical impact
The deployment of telematics software, like TotalTrax SX200, has proven to dramatically cut forklift accidents by tackling underlying causes. Preventing accidents saves lives, workplace injuries, and reduces associated costs — including OSHA fines that cut away at your bottom line.