Running your business involves the constant interaction between people and machines. This creates an amazing productivity opportunity. However, it has a dark side as well. All that human/equipment interplay poses a potential safety risk.
The forklift represents a great example of this. It’s fundamental to running your day-to-day operation. At the same time, all that driving around and all that moving of heavy materials presents a definite safety hazard.
That said, the risk posed by forklifts can be easily managed. It just takes a few basic rules to keep the dangers under control. Here are the top five elements of forklift safety, allowing you to reach the peak of your productivity, while minimizing the chance of accidents and injuries:
Proper Policies and Oversight
Safety starts at the top. You set the tone for your employees by putting the right policies in place. Meanwhile, you ensure compliance with proper procedures by maintaining a strict oversight routine.
If done right, this managerial presence doesn’t need to cause friction with your employees. After all, everyone wants the safest workplace possible. By keeping up regular, constructive communication, you can maximize compliance with the minimum of intervention.
You can avoid a lot of future problems by setting a good base of safety early in an employee’s career. This involves creating adequate training protocols and then reinforcing those lessons periodically throughout a worker’s time at your company.
The key here is to create a standard, comprehensive training regime that everyone receives. Even workers who come into the position with significant forklift experience should take your proscribed course. It might be review for them, but at least you know everyone is working off the same assumptions and have the same safety goals in mind.
Equipment in Top Working Order
Your workers aren’t the only source of potential safety hazards. While operator error represents a frequent cause of forklift accidents, machine malfunction also presents a possible danger.
As such, make sure your equipment is in the highest working order. Schedule routine maintenance and make any necessary repairs as soon as possible. Moreover, encourage your employees to report any problems as soon as they become apparent.
Everyone Stay Alert
Inattention is a key cause of forklift accidents. Of course, this starts with the operators themselves, who have to keep their minds on their jobs and stay aware of their surroundings. However, other employees have to contribute to the atmosphere of safety as well.
All workers in your facility should know to watch out for forklifts. You should communicate this message often, making sure the entire staff receives routine reminders. Meanwhile, you should have high traffic areas clearly marked, so everyone knows where the forklifts are likely to be operating.
The Stability Triangle
For this one, you’ll have to know a little physics. The stability triangle represents a way of understanding the center of gravity on a forklift. Knowing how it works will allow your operators to avoid tip-overs and other incidents. As such, make learning about the stability triangle part of your regular training regime.
Even with reliance on heavy machinery, like forklifts, and an aggressive work schedule, maintaining a safe workplace is possible. The trick is having the right workers in place. A strong recruiting partner, like DHR, will make sure you have the careful, competent staff you need to keep up production, while still reaching the highest safety levels.
Contact DHR today to learn more.
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