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Requiring forklift operators to be OSHA certified should be the first step each business required to ensure each operator fully understands how to properly operate a forklift truck safely. However, each industry and business has its own set of unique safety considerations they need to consider for their work environment. Therefore, each business should train and set up specific forklift policies to be followed that are geared toward their specific work environment risks.
Because of the dangers forklifts possess for anyone working with them or around them, safety training should be conducted for both forklift operators and nearby pedestrians. Below are some considerations each business needs to uniquely make that are specifically geared towards their own work environment.
Forklift Safety Intensity
Because each work environment has its own set of unique risk factors to consider, each business will need to access the intensity in which they need to emphasize forklift safety. For example more forklift safety needs to be emphasized when dangerous material is being transported, when potentially dangerous forklift attachments or forklift accessories are being used, as well as when there is a high density of pedestrians around forklift trucks.
Special Forklift Attachments and Forklift Accessories
When using different forklift attachments and accessories, one needs to consider the safety hazards these posses. To ensure proper operation of attachments and accessories, training should be done for each operator to ensure they fully understand the risks associated, as well as how to properly operate the special attachment or accessory.
Forklift Safety Committee
Anyone operating forklifts should always consider having a forklift safety committee. Having a strong forklift safety committee helps emphasize the importance of forklift safety to everyone that could be directly affected by forklift casualties on a continuous basis. The number of members a safety committee holds, along with the frequency the safety committee meets will be unique for each business. Businesses that are operating more dangerous materials, have a large number of forklift trucks, or those having a large number of casualties will need to consider having a stronger safety committee.
Forklift Operation Policies
Because each business has a unique work environment, they will have their own unique set of forklift operation policies. Example of each business’ unique policies includes the designated locations where forklifts are permitted to operate, as well as the different material handling policies and capacity limits the forklift possesses. Therefore, each business should access the different policies that need to be made and ensure all operators are properly educated on such policies.
Forklift Pedestrian Policies
Because individuals are often near locations where forklifts operate, it is imperative that forklift pedestrians are made aware of safety policies. Because each business operating forklifts will have a unique environment, they should each have their own set of policies to be followed by all forklift pedestrians. Examples include areas pedestrians are allowed to walk, as well as different protective wear they are required to be worn.
Forklift Material Handling
Each business has a unique set of material they are handling with forklifts, and therefore will have different risks associated with the material they are transporting. For instance, some businesses may be transporting chemically dangerous material and may require certain safety handling requirements and safety wear that is completely unique for that business.