In the U.S., there are over 855,000 forklifts operating in a wide range of industries. While this type of heavy equipment is necessary for fast and efficient transport of goods, forklifts are also known to cause as many as 85 fatalities and nearly 35,000 serious injuries each year. Given these figures, implementing proper forklift training among workers remains one of the best solutions for the prevention of injuries, property damage and other mishaps in the workplace.
What are the Most Common Injuries Caused by a Forklift?
Improper or negligent use of heavy equipment can lead to a number of injuries, such as:
– Crushing injuries as a result of the forklift tipping over
– Physical injuries to workers and damage to property due to crashes, being struck or run over
– Physical injuries due to falls from the vehicle
– Physical injuries as a result of other equipment or materials striking or falling on the operator or other workers
– Accidents that result from reckless driving or ignorance of the proper use and operation of the vehicle
How Can Forklift Training Help?
Forklifts, like cars, are vehicles of transport but the similarities stop there. Forklifts require specialized knowledge and skills to operate safely. In fact, companies are required by the OSHA to allow only workers who have undergone proper training to operate a forklift. Driven by someone who has no thorough understanding about how a forklift should be used could lead to unnecessarily dangerous and costly issues. With sufficient training, a forklift operator will learn the most important aspects about driving a heavy vehicle.
Benefits of Training
Safety is All About Prevention
The average forklift weighs about 9,000 lbs. Running at just 10mph, a forklift has enough force and power to cause serious damage or injury. A properly trained operator has a better understanding about how to prepare before driving the vehicle, what to do while operating it and what needs to be done once a job is completed.
Sufficient Knowledge in Operating Different Types of Forklifts
Different types of forklifts require different techniques, procedures and skills to operate. Without proper forklift training, the chances of making a mistake are significantly reduced.
Increased Work Efficiency
When forklift drivers are trained and knowledgeable, they are able to work quickly and finish the job in a safe, careful manner. Their overall productivity, output and efficiency at work is increased, thereby preventing costly damage to goods and property, human injuries, delays in processing and logistics, and lost man hours.
Reduced Loss of Goods
Workplace accidents involving forklifts tend to include damage to goods due to errors and improper handling. The cost of these damages can affect the profitability, efficiency and reputation of a business. Over time, accumulated cost of damages may be significant enough to cause a serious dent on the company’s bottomline. When forklift operators are well-trained, all these negative factors can be eliminated.