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It’s natural for people to take ownership of their workspace. Office workers will often put pictures of loved ones on their desks. Some restaurant servers will wear pins or other items to show off their interests. Taxi drivers will add back massagers, special lighting, sound systems, and other objects to the interiors of their vehicles.
So should forklift operators be allowed to take photos of their loved ones and other personal items inside the cab of their lift trucks?
Generally, it’s not a good idea and here’s why.
Forklifts Are Usually Shared
It’s rare for an operation to have one forklift allocated to each individual forklift operator. What’s more likely is that the same forklift will be run around the clock by different drivers on all three shifts.
So when a single forklift operator leaves personal items such as photos of loved ones, inspirational sayings, or other personalized items in their forklift, it’s not fair to the other operators who will have to drive that same vehicle later. Why should they have to look at another driver’s family throughout their shift?
But even in the rare instance in which an operator rarely has to share their forklift with anyone else, it’s still not a good idea to allow them to decorate or hang personal items in the cabin.
For one thing, it can be a hazard. The line of sight within a forklift can be obstructed enough without having to worry about looking around photos taped to the walls or window. And if the personal items should come loose and fall in the middle of an operation, it could distract the operator to the point where there could be an accident.
Remember, if you allow one operator to get away with it, all the other drivers will likely be decorating their cabins in short order as well. The best approach is to prohibit it altogether.
If you own your own forklift and want to decorate it with personal items and are willing to take the risks associated with obstructed views and other issues, that’s up to you.
But with most businesses, operators are driving a forklift that belongs to somebody else: Namely, the company. Even though they may spend eight or more hours per day in that cabin, it doesn’t actually belong to them. So they have no legal right to decorate it with personal items.
If forklift operators want to carry photos or memorabilia in their wallet, or even in their shirt pocket, they are welcome to look at it as often as they wish (as long as it doesn’t interfere with their job duties, of course).