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When people discuss injuries and forklifts, they usually refer to forklifts tipping over or other such catastrophes. By all means, it is important to become familiar with the safety precautions that will prevent a major disaster from happening. At the same time, though, all too often people overlook the minor injuries that can be acquired from operating a forklift all day long. Below are some easily overlooked ways that you can get injured while handling a forklift, as well as some strategies for reducing the aches and pains that can make your life miserable.
Chances are, you spend a great deal of time behind the wheel of your forklift. This means that you need to sit upright and be aware of your posture. Keep your back straight and your shoulders level in order to reduce stiffness. Also, try to be efficient with the frequency with which you look upwards and behind the forklift, as this can cause injuries to your neck and back. Make sure that the cabin is clean and does not restrict your legs and arms. If possible, try and mix up the types of tasks that you complete. If you don’t have to spend your entire day behind the wheel, your muscles will be less likely to get sore.
(Note: If you are already experiencing soreness, try some of these methods for loosening up)
Uneven terrain can also cause injuries
The workplace environment can also cause injuries. Bumps are an especially strong hazard and can wreak havoc on your back, so fill in any potholes that might have accumulated.
Purchase the right equipment (and position it properly)
One mistake that people habitually make is riding on seats that are not supportive enough, so spring for one that will adequately protect your back. You also need to make sure that your cabin and tools are ergonomically correct. Controls should be intuitively positioned so that operating them will not cause muscle stiffness. It’s also a good idea to buy grab-handles and rails, as they reduce the risk of getting injured while entering and exiting. In general, you also want to try and limit the amount of times that you enter and exit the forklift, as each repetition carries some risk of injury.
For more information about forklift safety and the advantages of forklift attachments and accessories, check out the Resources on our main site. A good starting point is our Forklift Accessories FAQs article that covers many of our customers’ most frequently asked questions.