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Workplace hazards involving forklifts can lead to serious injuries and even fatalities if not properly addressed.

It’s crucial for all forklift operators to receive thorough training to ensure they are equipped to navigate the potential dangers that come with operating this heavy machinery.

Let’s discuss the importance of proper forklift training and highlight some common hazards that operators should be aware of to prevent accidents and promote a safe working environment.

Why Is Forklift Safety Important in Canberra?

Many workplaces in Canberra use forklifts to stack, lift and move loads.

Safe Work Australia states that they are still causing workplace injuries and deaths every year, resulting in significant financial and human costs to workers, industries and the community.

Three main factors are responsible for the deaths or serious injuries of workers in forklift accidents:

  1. Being hit or crushed by forklifts.
  2. Being hit or crushed by the load that a forklift is moving.
  3. Being crushed by a forklift that tips over.

Ensuring forklift safety is all about having proper operational equipment, trained forklift operators and a workspace that follows safety protocols.

It’s crucial to create a safe workplace environment where dangers are recognised and dealt with proactively to protect both forklift operators and those nearby.

You might wonder why forklift safety matters so much.

After all, it’s just a machine used for lifting things, isn’t it?

Forklifts are incredibly versatile tools in industrial settings due to their lifting capacity and manoeuvrability.

However, if not used correctly or without proper safety protocols, they can quickly become hazardous.

When forklift equipment is not properly maintained, loads are handled improperly or operators lack training in safety protocols, accidents happen.

These risks could result in serious injuries or even fatalities. That’s why forklift safety isn’t just about moving goods; it plays a vital role in overall industrial safety in Canberra.

Following safety protocols in Canberra consistently not only ensures a safer workplace environment, but also enhances productivity. It reduces machine downtime, prevents delays, and improves workplace efficiency by allowing everyone to focus on their tasks without worrying about common hazards and potential accidents.

7 Common Forklift Safety Hazards

Improper Operation and Use

  • Avoid improper forklift operations such as speeding, racing, or sharp cornering.
  • Operate forklifts only for their intended purpose, to ensure safe lifting and manoeuvring of goods.
  • All forklift operators should have a valid license and up-to-date training.

Load Handling

  • Know the forklift’s maximum load limit as indicated on the rating plate.
  • Confirm load weights before lifting and ensure they are within the unit’s load limit.
  • Secure all loads before lifting to prevent unexpected movement.

Insufficient or Incorrect Maintenance

  • Regularly maintain forklifts to prevent accidents.
  • Tag out any forklift with broken lights, non-functional alarms, worn tynes, damaged chains, or fluid leaks.
  • Implement proper maintenance practices for routine inspections and repairs.

Pedestrian Safety

  • Define a traffic management plan for areas with forklifts and pedestrians.
  • Install safety protocols like guard rails, line markings, spotlights, and horns to enhance pedestrian safety.

Floor Conditions

  • Address common hazards such as debris, puddles, unstable ground, and obstructions.
  • Clean wet and slippery floors, remove debris and obstructions, and fix cracks and potholes.

Forklift Attachments

  • Regularly inspect and maintain forklift attachments to prevent safety risks.
  • Ensure compatibility of forklift attachments with the forklift and proper installation.

Blind Spots

  • Be aware of forklift blind spots, especially when fully loaded.
  • Direct pedestrians away from blind spots and employ spotters when manoeuvring around them.
  • Plan driving routes to avoid blind spots, obstacles, and other common hazards.

Is Proper Training Key to Forklift Safety?

While operating a forklift can make material handling tasks more efficient, it also comes with risks that can be dangerous without proper operation.

This is why proper training is crucial to ensuring forklift safety in the workplace.

Without the necessary knowledge and skills, forklift operators and those working around forklifts are at a higher risk of accidents and injuries.

Proper training instills best practices for safe forklift operation, including techniques for manoeuvring in tight spaces, proper load handling, and effective communication with other forklift operators.

It also educates forklift operators on how to identify and avoid potential common hazards, leading to a safer work environment overall in Canberra.

Developing a Comprehensive Training Program in Canberra

On the path to forklift safety, developing a comprehensive training program is crucial.

AlertForce’s training programs include both theoretical knowledge and practical skills training.

Our theoretical knowledge covers topics such as forklift operations, safety guidelines, and emergency procedures.

Practical skills training involves hands-on practice in proper forklift operation, manoeuvring in different settings, and loads handling.

Ongoing Education and Refresher Courses in Canberra

We offer ongoing education and refresher courses to forklift operators, ensuring they stay updated on the latest safety protocols and best practices. These training programs help reinforce safety protocols, improve skills, and enhance overall awareness, reducing the likelihood of accidents.

Our well-rounded ongoing education and refresher courses cover topics such as updated safety regulations, advanced operating techniques, and situational awareness.

By investing in our forklift training programs, companies demonstrate their commitment to forklift safety and the well-being of their employees.

AlertForce’s ongoing forklift training programs in Canberra allows forklift operators to maintain high proficiency levels, reducing the likelihood of safety hazards due to operational errors.

It equips them to adapt to changes—a constant in the industrial world.

In essence, investing in regular training sessions is an investment in safety, productivity, and overall workplace efficiency.

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