Forklift Operator Safety

Course Description:

This online forklift safety training course will help teach forklift operators the characteristics of a forklift, including differences from driving a car, controls and instruments, motor operation, including steering and other instructions, warnings, and precautions. Reckless driving presents a high risk with these heavy, delicately balanced vehicles. An improperly loaded or operated forklift can tip over, fall off a loading dock, drop a load, or collide with an object or person. That’s why OSHA’s regulation on powered industrial trucks (29 CFR 1910.178) includes more than just requirements for the equipment. It also requires that the trucks be operated only by trained, authorized drivers. Even the best-trained drivers, however, may get careless. Operators need reminders of forklift safety basics so they don’t put themselves—or anyone else—at risk.

Course Duration: 23 minutes

Why “Forklift Operator Safety” Matters:

  • Forklifts can be very dangerous—in an average year, 100 people die in forklift-related accidents, and 20,000 are seriously injured in forklift mishaps.
  • Tens of thousands of forklift-related injuries occur each year, and about 20,000 of these result in lost workdays.
  • Common forklift-related injuries could result from:
    • Hitting a pedestrian with a forklift,
    • Forklift tipover,
    • Improperly positioned loads,
    • Falling from the forks or from a platform positioned on the forks,
    • Falling from a ladder that is struck by a forklift, and
    • Being struck by materials that fall from a forklift.

Key Points:

  • Know the main hazards of forklifts, which include pedestrians, environmental conditions in the workplace, and loading and unloading.
  • Position loads as close as possible to the vertical backrest. Remember what you learned about the center of gravity of a load and the “stability triangle.”
  • Always conduct and document a preoperational inspection before operating a forklift.
  • Always follow the safe operating “rules of the road.”
  • Properly refuel or recharge your forklift.

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