According to an OSHA estimate, nearly 110,000 accidents occur due to forklift operations at workstations. There is no place as dangerous as a warehouse while forklift operations take place. As most warehouse workplaces are small, confined places, it is hard for employees to maneuver forklifts without proper training. Untrained employees can bring in a lot of hazards, more than one can imagine.
That is why today’s warehouse operation teams put particular emphasis on forklift training. Besides that, most of the employees are already familiar with forklift training requirements and how it is risky for everyone working in the warehouse without proper certification.
However, it is unfortunate that most companies still neglect workplace safety. It is why the laws have made it mandatory for companies to comply with the regulations. The regulations state that no employees without a training certificate should be recruited to handle forklifts.
One can discover more about the necessity of forklift training in this article.
The Hazards of Operating Forklifts with Untrained Workers
It is essential that companies understand how hiring untrained employees has always led to a disaster in one way or the other. Down below are some common stats to prove that.
- Out of 1 million forklifts that are in active operation every year in the US, 110,000 face accidents.
- Forklift accidents prove highly costly to companies as they incur a loss of $135 million every year.
- Approximately more than 20,000 workers face forklift-related accidents every year.
- Around 22% of the accidents are due to an overturned forklift vehicle while in operation.
- Around 20% of all forklift accidents are due to workers getting hit by a forklift run by an untrained worker.
- On average, 16% of all fatalities are caused when victims are crushed by a forklift machine while in operation.
While these stats have been consistent over the years, another stat also shows how roughly 70% of these misfortunate incidents could be avoided if companies recruited trained employees.
Most common causes of Forklift-related Accidents
Workplace safety in the warehouse or where forklift operations are being held is constantly ignored. From the incidents and mishaps, one can figure out some of the most common causes of accidents.
- Untrained workers have little idea about the maximum weight-holding capacity of the forklift. Unsecured or overloaded packages fall, thus crushing drivers or pedestrians around.
- Forklifts topple over due to excessive loads, thus injuring people around.
- Driving forklifts with speeds over the maximum limits causes accidents.
- Untrained workers trying to stand on the forklift may fall and injure themselves.
- Untrained forklift drivers might hit other workers while driving in the warehouse, unaware of the surroundings.
- Sometimes, incoherent floor markings also lead to accidents.
Top 5 Forklift Training Requirements
OSHA requires all companies to train their workforce on safely operating forklifts. Working forklift operators should be OSHA compliant. Companies can connect with forklift training and certification firms to comply with the requirements.
The top five training requirements are as follows –
1. Forklift operators must know how to safely operate.
Forklift operators must be demonstrated and trained with the ability to safely operate the vehicle. They must know how to avoid equipment-related injury or fatality. Trained workers are more likely to recognize and deal with hazards to keep the workplace safe for everyone.
2. Trainees should only operate under experts’ supervision.
Trainees should never work without being under the supervision of an expert. The trainee must understand how to operate the forklift and successfully pass the test.
3. Training must be done in a safe place.
Forklift safety training should always be carried out in a place that doesn’t put other workers at risk. It should be at a location suggested by the training and certification firm.
4, Training must be for all OSHA-recognized forklift vehicles.
There are six classifications of forklift vehicles, as recognized by OSHA. They are –
- Rough terrain forklift trucks
- Electric motor narrow aisle trucks
- Electrical and internal combustion engine tractors
- Electric motor rider trucks
- Electric motor hand trucks
- Internal combustion engine trucks with pneumatic/solid/cushion tires
Forklift training should be for all these vehicles if operated in the warehouse the employee works in.
5, Refresher training is a must for forklift operators.
All forklift operators should receive refresher training every three years or before. This will ensure that the operators stay updated with the latest safety topics, regulations, and vehicle modifications.
Forklift training and certification firms ensure that your employees receive proper training and certificates to comply with OSHA regulations. Professional certification firms abide by standard forklift training requirements at all stages of their training program. Employees will go through both theoretical and practical training to guarantee workplace safety. This includes video sessions, online lectures, field training, written material, demonstrations, and so on.