In any warehouse and on any construction site, forklifts are among the most frequently used pieces of equipment. While they offer an unmatched level of help, they can also be dangerous pieces of machinery that can cause major damage to those who operate them and others nearby.
According to OSHA, forklift accidents are responsible for nearly 100 deaths every year and 35,000 serious injuries are sustained due to forklift mishaps on an annual basis. There are many different ways in which these injuries and deaths can happen, including a lack of training or careless drivers. Typical accidents involve tip-overs, which can lead to pinning and crushing individuals against other surfaces.
No matter the way injuries are received, it’s important for construction companies and warehouse operations to know how to prevent these problems from happening.
Insurance and Training
Having forklift insurance and construction insurance can help to provide financial aid in the middle of a settlement. A faulty forklift that leads to an injury or even death can spell major trouble for a company, so having coverage of some kind is a major way that companies can prepare for the worst on their end.
But daily checkpoints on a worksite can help to minimize liabilities and increase knowledge and awareness around proper forklift operations. OSHA says that nearly three out of four accidents involving forklifts are avoidable with the right training. Anyone who operates a forklift should go through the proper certification to learn about the dangers that these machines present. Certification and training should include formal instruction through lectures and hands-on on-the-job training.
It’s important to perform regular maintenance on forklifts and make sure they are in the right working condition. This can be pursued through a daily checklist that helps to look out for specific inefficiencies.
First, you can check to make sure the horn is working and that there are no hydraulic leaks in the master or elsewhere and this can lead to slipping hazards on-site as well as hydraulic failure. Next, make sure fuel connections are tight and remove any grease, oil, or other material from the forklift that could ignite.
Also, look for signs of overheating from the engine. This can be prevented by checking in on coolant levels, clogged radiator hoses, and broken fan blades. Lastly, run through all the controls such as lift, lower, and tilt to make sure everything is working properly.
Implement a Safety Policy
Safety couldn’t be stressed enough when it comes to preventing forklift injuries and mistakes. You should develop a forklift safety policy for the workplace, consisting of rules and policies that clearly define safe and proper operation. Some rules can be aimed at limiting speed limits, not overloading the vehicle, and ensuing loads are stable.
Those who don’t operate the forklift should also be made aware of the dangers that the equipment poses. From maintaining a safe distance to creating a walkway to keep forklifts and pedestrians separated, being aware is one step towards minimizing risks.
About The Hilb Group
Deciding what coverage you need and what limits and deductibles make the most sense can be tricky. Founded in 2009, the Hilb Group has been helping clients to make sense of their options and make the smartest choices for their circumstances. Whether you need Warehouse Insurance or any other type of business or personal coverage, we encourage you to contact our friendly, experienced, and capable team today. Call us at (800) 776-3078 for a consultation.