Warehouse Safety – Safety should be a priority in every warehouse, but even more so during the holidays – as loading docks become busier, warehouses move larger volumes of goods, and an increase of employees run around.

According to OSHA, 11% of forklift operators are involved in at least one accident a year. 

Forklift accidents include forklifts driving off loading docks, tipping over and crushing workers, falling between docks, striking workers and objects, as well as operators injuring themselves on equipment. Therefore, maintaining vigilance and staying observant of simple warehouse safety measures is crucial for the safety of all, the equipment, and products. 

The best way forklift workers can reduce forklift accidents and maintain the quality of equipment is by operators receiving proper, OSHA compliant, forklift training – and operators following their warehouse’s safety rules and operating procedures. 

Additional warehouse safety measures include: 

(1) Ongoing Forklift Training

Although OSHA requires forklift operators to be trained upfront,  as humans, it’s easy to forget what one learns. As such, forklift operators should undergo ongoing training to keep up-to-date on safety best practices. 

(2) Warehouse Safety Checklist

Warehouse managers should provide a safety checklist to their operators, identifying safety hazards and parameters for inspecting their forklift and work environment. 

(3) Driving a Forklift 

When traveling, be sure to remain observant for pedestrians, other equipment, products, and always looking in the direction traveling – whether going forward or in reverse. Furthermore, obey posted signs. In respect to the forks, keep them as low as possible, tilted back, and never overloaded. 

(4) Keep a Lookout on the Floor

As a forklift operator, one must keep an eye out on not only their equipment and their surroundings, but also the floor. An operator should be cautions of oil spills, wet spots, fallen objects, rough patches, and holes.

(5) Load Pallets Properly

A main task for forklift operators is loading and unloading pallets. To ensure forklift safety when performing this task, in addition to receiving forklift training, operators should be alert to raise their forks high enough to stack the pallet, but low enough not to risk an accident. Furthermore, forks should be kept level and at a proper width, allowing the pallet’s weight to distribute evenly and avoid instability. 

(6) Traveling with a Load

When traveling with a load, as mentioned above, forklift operators should first make sure they do not overload their forks. Next, to maintain better control, loads should be supported with the forklift’s front wheels, and turning with the back wheels. Additionally, they should be observant that they do not turn until they are on level ground, and when they do turn, turns are not made at high speeds. Moreover, when traveling on an incline, forks should be pointed upwards if carrying a load, and downwards when not. 

(7) Make Noise

Don’t be afraid to be loud and proud when operating a forklift. When traveling in reverse, sound the horn. When turning, sound the horn. When pedestrians are nearby and should be made alert of the forklift approaching, sound the horn. 

To learn more about warehouse safety and how to train your employees to safely and effectively operate a forklift and avoid warehouse accidents and injuries, or if you’d like to learn more about earning forklift training, certification, and job assistance, Contact Us Today!