Safety Alert: Forklifts
Forklift Accidents Drive 3 Fatalities, 1 Catastrophic Injury
In three unrelated cases, workers employed by Texas Mutual policyholders were killed in forklift-related accidents during the past week. A fourth employee was seriously injured. If your employees work with or around forklifts, you should remember:
- It is a violation of federal law for anyone under 18 years of age to operate a forklift and for anyone over 18 years of age who is not properly trained and certified to do so.
- You should never use a forklift for something other than its intended purpose.
- Everyone riding a forklift should wear a seatbelt at all times.
You can go a long way toward protecting your employees from forklift-related accidents by following those three basic principles. Here are a few other tips to help you elevate forklift safety in your workplace:
- Inspect the forklift before using it. The horn, lights, signals and brakes should work. Tires should have enough air, the forklift should have enough fuel and hydraulic lines should be leak-free.
- Never exceed the forklift’s safe-load capacity.
- Never stand or walk under elevated forks.
- Never allow passengers on the forklift unless a seat is provided.
- If carrying a tall load that blocks your forward vision, drive in reverse, and turn your head so you can see.
- Always keep the load on the uphill side of an incline. Drive forward when going up an incline or ramp. Drive in reverse when going down an incline or ramp.
- When traveling without a load on the forks, keep the forks approximately 4 to 6 inches off the floor.
- A parked forklift should have the forks flat on the floor, with the controls in neutral and the parking brake set.
Get more information
For more information on forklift safety, visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration website. Texas Mutual policyholders also have exclusive access to free training material, including online videos about forklift safety, in the safety resource center at texasmutual.com. To access the material, enter your Texas Mutual® online username and password, or create an account. Once you log in, navigate to the resource catalog and enter “forklifts” in the search bar.
You can go a long way toward protecting your employees from forklift-related accidents by following these basic principles