Are Forklifts Dangerous?

If Forklifts Are So Dangerous…Why Do We Still Use Them?

Are forklifts dangerous? Any forklift operator should have the answer to this question. When you examine the numbers associated with forklift safety, you quickly realize just how dangerous they can be.

Consider that every year in North America…

  • There are 85-100 fatalities related to forklifts
  • There are 34,900 major injuries caused by forklifts
  • There are 61,800 minor injuries caused by forklifts
  • There are 38,400,000 near misses
  • In excess of $135,000,000 is spent on repairing lift truck damage
  • Statistically 11 percent of all forklifts will be involved in a major accident

Even with these important forklift safety considerations, it is a “safe” bet that forklifts will continue to play a vital role in our economy for the foreseeable future.

So How Do I Minimize This Danger?

Although forklifts are dangerous, you can promote safety in your workplace. Providing lift truck operators with tools that assist them with their “habits” can have a huge impact in creating a safe working environment.

Increase operator accountability

With a forklift access control feature, all authorized personnel need to enter their unique employee code or scan their proximity card/FOB in order to start the vehicle or machine. Every event that is recorded is now associated with that employee thus ensuring accountability. This accountability is further increased with the daily OSHA safety check feature that the operator must complete at the start of each shift.

Clearly define acceptable forklift/machinery condition & procedures

This accountability is further increased with the daily OSHA safety check feature that the operator must complete at the start of each shift. While OSHA does provide a set of guidelines for inspecting your equipment, it is very important that you use this guideline to create a companywide standard that is specific to your unique working environment. Work with your JHSC to determine what the safe standard is for every safety question asked and for each type of equipment and share these expectations with your operators.

Monitor operator behaviours

To increase operator accountability, it is helpful if you can track when specific operators are using specific machines. It is also important that you track the fact that you have completed your OSHA safety checks, and to have a record of all the exceptions (failed safety questions) and what steps were taken to restore your equipment to a safe operating condition.

Utilizing a tool like Start-Manager’s intuitive web portal with the SM301 units, your company can easily verify who is using a specific unit and when they are doing so and pull reports on all activity. You can then work with the operators to point out specific issues or reinforce certain good behaviours.

Contact Start-Manager for more info:

Call: 1-800-674-9320