Teenagers are required to have a drivers permit prior to receiving a full license. He or she needs proper guidance, training, and practice. The same is true when becoming a licensed forklift operator. These machines are 9000lbs or more depending on their capacity; they also steer from the rear, and have the capability to lift thousands of pounds. OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration) requires forklift certification of employees operating these machines so it is important to make sure your company is in accordance with these government guidelines. In some instances It may help you receive better ratings on safety inspections; which could reduce insurance premiums.
A forklift operator who has been properly trained will know how to:
- Handle asymmetrical loads
- Understand the center of gravity
- Be able to stay within the stability triangle
- Know what traveling speed is safe for his or her task
Train your employees to always be aware of their surroundings, use the horn frequently, especially at intersections, and to ask for a spotter when visibility is limited. Doing these things could prevent damaging products, or colliding with a pedestrian. Tipping the lift truck is one of the most common operator errors. To help avoid this, the load must be within the capacity range of the forklift, and the operator must understand how a change in the center of gravity can affect the forklift’s ability to safely lift. Proper training is the first step in creating a safe and efficient work environment.
Investing properly in employee training has a huge long term return. You will see an increase in productivity and the life of your lift truck, it will lower operating costs, and most importantly the risk of accidents or injury is greatly reduced. When maneuvered correctly, the numerous benefits of a forklift definitely outweigh the risks.
If you’re not sure how to begin proper operator training, don’t worry we can help! Call us (866) 696-9125 or go online www.sielift.com to make an appointment. We have training programs to certify your employees, and we can answer any questions you may have regarding safe practices and OSHA guidelines. If your company has a large facility with more than five forklift operators; the train-the-trainer program may be beneficial. This program is designed to educate one of your operators to be able to instruct others. In doing this, you will always have a certified trainer on site. No matter which training program you choose; we will be there to teach, train, and instruct all of your operators.
“Powered Industrial Trucks.” Occupational Safety & Health Administration. United States Department of Labor. Web. 21 Mar 2014. <https://www.osha.gov/SLTC/poweredindustrialtrucks/index.html>.