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This probably comes as no surprise, but forklifts are the number one category for OSHA citations. There are many reasons for this statistic; obviously, forklifts are particularly dangerous and there are many ways that operators can fall victim to poor safety practice. On a yearly basis, roughly 3,000 citations are issued to forklift facilities. What’s more, these citations resulted in about $2 million in penalties, so it is clear that being unsafe results in physical, equipment, and financial damage. It is instructive to know which forklift citations are most common as this can give us an understanding of which areas are most commonly overlooked. Below, we explain the most prevalent citations and also discuss how to improve warehouse practices so as to avoid citations in the future.
By far the most common violation refer to training, which accounts for a whopping 63% of citations. The fact that training citations are so common means that citations not only hold the worker accountable but also the company as a whole; in many cases, operators are unsafe because they have not received the training they need to stay safe. Unsafe working environments are a distant second, with 13%, and failure to perform inspections on a daily basis results in 8%. Less prevalent are data plates that are impossible to read (3%), poor battery maintenance (2%), and having an unauthorized person on the lift truck (1%).
How to avoid forklift citations
When you consider that poor training accounts for more than half of all citations, improving safety begins with supplying operators with proper training. This means that operators need to follow the specific guidelines issued by the OSHA for operator training, which includes a rigorous evaluation and certification procedure. Through proper training, operators learn that the mind is the best preparation through which to avoid injury, as they gain the acumen they need to safely respond to any situation.
Electrical citations are a bit simpler and can be avoided by strictly monitoring any electric hazards. It is also necessary to repair any damaged equipment as well. Other citations can be avoided by keeping data plates clear and legible. Ensuring that all operators are in fact authorized may seem obvious, but it should not be overlooked in your list of safety considerations.
Citations are issued on a frequent basis, but you won’t get handed with one if you practice proper training and keeping the facility in safe working order. Avoid receiving a citation by leaving nothing to chance and making sure that everyone is aware of how to perform safely in the workplace.