In our day-to-day operations as a 3PL offering hazardous material storage, food-grade warehousing, cold storage and general merchandise warehousing, forklifts play a vital role in business. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, on average 100 people are killed in lift truck accidents in the U.S. each year and another 94,000+ people are injured as a result of lift truck accidents. In addition, the costs incurred as a result of lift truck accidents are estimated to exceed $100 million annually.
In light of these statistics, hazardous material storage provider FW Warehousing presents this list of safety tips. If you use lift trucks of any kind in your operations, you may want to review these tips with your forklift drivers, as well as other members of your team. Pedestrians need training too. It doesn’t matter if a facility is a hazardous material storage warehouse, a factory or a retail store loading dock. Stay OSHA compliant and stay safe!
- At the start of each shift, lift truck drivers should complete a pre-operations checklist. Each truck should be inspected for damage or malfunctions that might keep it from operating correctly. Hydraulics and tires should receive extra focus. Checklists should follow OHSA standards and include the vehicle manufacturer’s operating instructions.
- Lift truck operators should always use a seatbelt. The seatbelt will prevent the driver from being ejected should the vehicle ever tip over.
- Do not operate forklifts in slippery conditions or in any unsafe work environment. The surrounding area should be clean and free of obstacles with minimal pedestrian or vehicle traffic.
- Do not exceed a truck’s maximum load capacity.
- When loading, make sure the forks are spread as widely as possible for even weight distribution. Loose or unstable loads can be dangerous.
- When moving, the load should be carried low with the forks tilted back so that the cargo rests slightly against the backrest for increased stability. Carrying a load high raises the truck’s center of gravity and increases the chances of it tipping over.
Never carry anything on the overhead guard. It’s there for protection. It is not a cargo platform.
- Travel at a reasonable speed. Going too fast puts the operator and others at risk.
- Always move cargo slowly into position when unloading.
- Check overhead clearance before raising a load.
- If the load being carried blocks vision, travel in reverse while looking the shoulder.
- Lift trucks should always be parked with the fork resting completely on the ground/floor.
FW Warehousing is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri with Midwest warehouse distribution centers in Kansas City, Indianapolis and St. Louis totaling more than four million square feet. Founded in 1949 with a focus on food-grade storage, FW later broadened its services to include contract warehousing, dry storage, hazardous material and chemical storage, temperature-controlled storage, product distribution and B2B and B2C fulfillment.
FW Warehousing has more than 50 years of experience in third-party 3PL logistics and has been ranked in the top 100 Third Party Logistic Companies in the country by Inbound Logistics magazine.
For more information about FW Warehousing, its hazardous material storage services and other 3PL capabilities, visit the FW Warehousing website.