Safely operating forklifts is critical to preventing accidents and injuries in the workplace. Employers should provide comprehensive safety training to all employees who operate forklifts, including both formal classroom instruction and practical hands-on training. Here are some key topics that should be covered in forklift safety training:
1. Pre-operation inspection: Employees should be trained on how to inspect a forklift before each use to ensure that it is in safe working condition. This should include checking the brakes, tires, steering, and hydraulic system, among other components.
2. Safe driving practices: Employees should be trained on safe driving practices, including how to properly accelerate, brake, and steer a forklift. They should also be trained on how to maintain a safe distance from other vehicles and pedestrians, and how to navigate turns and ramps.
3. Load handling and stability: Employees should be trained on how to properly load and unload materials using a forklift, and how to ensure that the load is stable and secure. They should also be trained on how to avoid overloading the forklift, as well as how to handle loads that are awkwardly shaped or unbalanced.
4. Pedestrian safety: Employees should be trained on how to safely operate a forklift in areas where pedestrians are present. This should include how to use warning devices, such as horns and lights, to alert pedestrians of the forklift’s presence.
5. Environmental factors: Employees should be trained on how to safely operate a forklift in various environmental conditions, such as wet or slippery floors, narrow aisles, and low lighting.
6. Emergency procedures: Employees should be trained on emergency procedures, such as what to do in the event of a forklift accident or breakdown.
7. Personal protective equipment: Employees should be trained on the use of personal protective equipment, such as hard hats and safety glasses, while operating a forklift.
By providing comprehensive safety training to employees who operate forklifts, employers can help prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace and promote a safe working environment.