OSHA Forklift Safety Violations and How to Avoid Them

Category: Equipment and Solutions

Forklift Safety & Training

Safely operating a forklift is integral to working in the material handling industry. According to the guidelines set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), all operators should know how to operate a forklift. OSHA forklift rules exist to protect operators and other workers, though many are not aware of every rule in place.

Common Forklift Safety Violations

One of the most commonly cited OSHA standards pertains to forklift operation. Here are the most common OSHA safety violations and how to avoid them when using a forklift.

1. Missing Operator Certification

Many citations are a result of operators lacking the proper certification to operate a forklift. Noncertified operators can cause accidents or misuse the equipment, posing a threat to both the operator and other workers in the area.

To avoid this violation, managers should ensure that only those who have passed the certification test use the forklift. Everyone on the job site should know who has and has not passed their exam to prevent any confusion.

2. Driving With an Elevated Load

Driving with an elevated load increases the chance of materials falling off and causing injury. Elevated materials, especially heavy objects, can cause serious damage to surroundings and other workers. Always make sure that the forks are sitting as low as possible when transporting materials on-site.

3. Driving Too Fast

Driving too fast can cause the operator to lose control of the forklift. There should be clear regulations governing your forklifts’ speed in the workplace, and employers should monitor drivers as they maneuver these machines. Drivers should slow down at intersections and when navigating the warehouse.

4. Moving Too Close to a Platform

If a driver gets too close to the edge of a platform, they could accidentally tip the forklift or fall off. Crashes can cause serious injury and property damage. To prevent this violation, clearly label areas that the driver should avoid. Inaccessible areas should be a part of the training program as well.

5. Forgetting the Pre-Operation Inspection

The pre-operation inspection confirms that the forklift is in working order. The driver should do a visual inspection of forks, tires, fluid levels, batteries, mirrors and lights. If anything seems out of order, the operator should follow maintenance procedures and avoid using the forklift.

Failing to perform a pre-operation inspection to check for issues like flat tires or damaged forks can result in serious incidents.

6. Failure to Provide Refresher Training

There is a lot of information involved with operating a lift truck, and it is easy to forget specific details. OSHA also updates its forklift safety rules every so often, so refresher training can help keep operators up to date on safety and mechanical procedures.

As an employer, you should schedule regular training and performance evaluations to maintain your crew’s safety and forklift knowledge. Refresher training can come in the form of videos, classes or seminars.

Contact RAKA for More Information

RAKA is a leader in the material handling industry, and we offer a wide range of products and educational resources to help forklift operators stay safe on the job. To learn more about forklift safety and our products and services, contact us online to speak to a representative. We are here to answer your questions and help your business grow.


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