The forklift is one of the most crucial vehicles handling heavy goods in godowns or warehouses. Its productivity widely benefits businesses dealing with heavy machinery in carrying hefty inventories from one place to another. But, just like any commercial vehicle, operating a forklift requires training and certification. Unfortunately, most companies neglect that, and therefore, accidents are common among their forklift drivers.
The CDC says that the most common lift truck accidents are related to forklift rollovers or overturns. The OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) also has stats showing how over 34,000 forklift-related injuries happen every year. And of them, around 85-87 deaths follow the trail. Besides, untrained maneuver has also led to over 42% of victims getting crushed from forklift rollovers.
Reading the stats, it becomes evident that forklift training is a mandatory requirement for all drivers. This article read about the top reasons why the training is so crucial.
1. Avoid Accidents in the Workplace
Ensuring workplace safety for employees must be a top priority of every company. It is indeed an essential component for better performance and productivity of all employees. Forklift operators having relevant training and certification understand how to work safely. Thus, they minimize the chances of mishaps, injuries, or any unfortunate accidents.
Without proper forklift training among forklift operators, the company is liable for any misfortunate events. A trained and skilled forklift operator will have knowledge of the following things –
- Directional controls of the forklift
- Accelerator pedal controls
- Brake and clutch pedal controls
- Hydraulic lift controls
- Parking pedals, etc.
2. Understand How to Tackle Issues
Trained forklift operators know what it takes to handle emergency situations. They have the ability to read and execute what is written in the emergency manual. Not only that, but skilled operators also know how much load is safe for the vehicle. Drivers unaware of all these might fail to operate it safely. Besides that, knowing how to tackle minor issues also saves everyone around the workplace from injuries or accidents.
3. Avoid Unwanted Damage of Goods
Untrained drivers operating forklifts not just put their lives at risk but also jeopardizes production. Even small damages like banging the vehicle to the racks can make way for bigger problems for the company. Besides that, accidents caused due to a rollover of the forklift damage a lot of goods, sometimes even worth millions. Also, the damages done to the forklift attract more expenses.
One can conclude that a series of inconveniences follow when unskilled workers take control of forklifts. With proper driving and operating training, all these can be avoided.
4. Improve Lifespan of Forklifts
One cannot neglect the fact that forklifts are not cheap machines. Therefore, like any other machinery, the lifespan of these machines shortens up in the hands of a layman. Inexperienced operators fail to pick up hints a weary machine leaves when it needs repair or timely maintenance. Besides that, they might also have a lesser understanding of ways to avoid the wear and tear of the machines.
A trained forklift driver follows all safety regulations. They know that any reckless or novice action might endanger the production unit. Therefore, they are also mindful of the following things –
- Driving the forklift at a controlled speed.
- Wear the seat belt while operating both indoors and outdoors.
- Have pedestrian awareness while driving.
5. Compliance with Legal Regulations
The Occupational Health and Safety Act of 1970 is a labor law for US citizens. It addresses and follows casualties and injury cases occurring due to shifting overloads, collisions, rollovers, and inadequate awareness among most operators working in different companies. That is why this Act has made it mandatory for forklift recruiters and companies to only hire trained and certified employees to operate any type of powered machinery. Failing to comply with the regulation might lead to legal complications.
What are the Basics of Forklift Training?
OSHA’s license requirements make it mandatory for employers to ensure that their recruited forklift drivers have received OSHA forklift training. The training requirements include –
Formal Instruction and Training
Employers design their customized forklift training program and provide their employees with OSHA’s forklift certification compliant training materials. Employees will likely receive informational content like charts, diagrams, slides, informative videos, audios, or even virtual instructor-led training.
Practical Instruction and Training
The instructor/trainer provides employees with demos and expects them to complete exercises. The training must be relevant to the workplace and its specific equipment use.
After the training session is completed, the trainer evaluates the trainees’ real-time performance in the workplace.
The key reason why training forklift drivers have become so strict in workplaces is because of the accident record. Heavy machinery use without complete understanding and training is simply hazardous to the operator and everyone around. That is why companies should connect with forklift training and certification centers to ensure the safety of all employees.