Forklifts weigh about twice as much as a car, so safe practices are necessary to avoid injuries on the job.

In November, 2016, a 58-year-old forklift operator was transferring building supplies from a warehouse to a customer’s vehicle. As the forklift descended the ramp, a bag of mortar mix fell, blocking the right front wheel. The operator put it in reverse to try and free it when the back wheel went over the edge of the ramp. The five-ton vehicle tipped over, crushing the worker to death.

Each year in the U.S. nearly 100 workers die and 20,000 suffer serious injuries in forklift related accidents. 

This video can assist you with safety training. It provides a brief overview of forklift procedures and methods.

This death was preventable. The employer failed to provide proper training and examine the workplace for hazards. Cal/OSHA issued six citations for the incident. The serious violations included failure to ensure:

  • Proper use of a seatbelt.
  • The forklift operator had proper certification to operate the vehicle safely.
  • Industrial ramps have at least an 8-inch curb (or equivalent) installed along open edges to prevent the wheels from running off the ramp.

Forklift safety is important. So much so, June 13th has been designated National Forklift-Safety Day.

In observance of this national event, let’s review a few of the Cal/OSHA requirements for safe operation of forklifts:

  • Forklift operators must be authorized by the employer, trained, and certified on the safe use of industrial trucks.
  • No stunt driving and horseplay is allowed.
  • No employee shall ride on the forks of the lift.
  • Drivers must slow down and sound the horn when vision is obstructed.
  • Forks shall always be as low as possible, consistent with safe operations.

At State Fund, we play a vital role in helping employers keep workplaces safe. One way we do this is providing valuable safety services including our safety videos for industries including agriculture, construction, services, and more.

So watch our video series on forklift safety, find additional information on working safely around forklifts, and read our forklift safety manual.

Let’s take the opportunity on National Forklift Safety Day to provide a greater awareness of safe practices and encourage a safe minded culture in the workplace.

The above evaluations and/or recommendations are for general guidance only and should not be relied upon for legal compliance purposes. They are based solely on the information provided to us and relate only to those conditions specifically discussed. We do not make any warranty, expressed or implied, that your workplace is safe or healthful or that it complies with all laws, regulations or standards.