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How to train forklift operators in safety?

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How to train forklift operators in safety?

The primary focus of the business world is on core product packaging, it’s designing, it’s finishing challenges, innovative production methods, and selling techniques. However, if something is given lesser importance, then it is secondary daily operations. But these operations also deserve attention. Forklifts falls come into the category of ignored subjects. Although forklifts are used regularly to carry heavy loads, very few companies give a second thought to the proper training of the forklift operators and the appropriate installation of forklift camera systems. 

The OSHA Construction Industry Regulations narrate the General Industry instructions about forklift operations. These regulations apply both to the warehouse use of forklifts as well as to the use of lifts at the construction sites. There are different clauses of these regulations, and one part deals solely with the need to train the forklift operators. If you are also interested in training your forklift operators or using the forklift camera, here is an account of important points to keep in mind.

When to think about forklift training?

You need to consider forklift camera systems and forklift operator training when:

  • You have employees who are operating any kind of powered industrial trucks and especially forklifts 
  • When your company lacks easy and sufficient training program under the requirements of OSHA
  • When your company is Hiring new operators who lack past forklift experience
  • When the company’s system is not in a position to disrupt the production schedules

What are the options?

You can train the forklift operators:

  • Either by sending employees to an off-site training session
  • Or arranging an in-house training program under OSHA certification

How to train:

Training the operators for safe forklift operations and for using forklift camera, you need to consider the following major aspects:

Train about proper authorization

During the training, the operators must be guided about the authorized persons who can come near the lift and the ones who can operate the lift. It is better to clearly mention the persons who have no business with the forklift or forklift camera systems, both the productivity and safety standpoints. We have learned this lesson during the controlled training, where there was no risk of injury. It is better to use hard hat stickers to classify the operators and helpers so that everyone in the warehouse or the industrial area can know them better. 

Make them realize the difference! Forklifts are not cars!

During training for the Forklifts, the operators should realize that these lifts are not like the rest of the automobiles. Especially the operators who do not have any experience may consider as a truck at first glance. The forklift weight is much more than a truck or car. The steer wheels are placed at the back, so steering forklift wheels is a different business. Train the operators about driving through the uneven surfaces both within the warehouse as well as on the road. Safe forklift driving practices must be taught accordingly.

Train the expertise of entering and exiting a forklift 

Demonstrate the use of a three-point stance, which is necessary while entering and exiting a typical forklift. Make them learn how to use one foot and two hands while being in contact with the forklift. Focus the importance of clean and non-greasy hands and shoes as it can reduce the possibility of falls and slips.

Train about reading the data plate

Before starting the training, make sure that all the forklifts being used have accurate and legible data plates. For each distinct attachment, a data plate that reflects the changes in load capacity must be attached to the forklift all the time. The operators must learn to read the data plates and the specifications mentioned, like the battery size, designated areas, and lifting capacities. 

The operators must learn to identify that all forklift parts are in working condition according to the standards. Some important parts which operators must be familiar with are brakes, Engines, mast, transmissions, hydraulics, accessories, and other electrical systems. It is like mastering the whole machine before setting your step on the driving seat. 

Train about forklift camera usage:

Forklift camera systems are an effective tool to ensure safe operations. However, the operators need to be trained about the utilities of this camera. It is not like ordinary cameras; therefore, practical demonstrations are necessary. Guide the operators about the image quality and distance measurements according to the dimensions of a particular camera set.

If the operator is inexperienced, he needs to be trained about the product piling and stacking while looking into the camera. Once camera usage is learned, you can safely trust the operator to use the forklift. 

Train about pedestrian safety:

Pedestrian safety is one of the major training topics which need attention. Almost half of the lift accidents involve pedestrians. In this regard, the training of pedestrians, as well as the operator, is required. In-house pedestrians must make eye contact with the lift operator while setting or shifting the products. 

Miscellaneous training topics:

Although specific training of the operators is equally necessary yet, you need to cover various topics for training. Some of the issues which must be covered in the training include:

  • Battery Safety & Maintenance
  • Safety Accessories
  • Safety Equipment
  • Safety Regulation Training
  • Site Safety Surveys
  • Vehicle Inspections

Knowing about these topics will ensure safe and productive operations within any industrial vicinity.

Just as businesses are expanding, it is crucial for business owners to know about the safety and security of both the assets as well as that of human resources. Maintenance on forklifts operations can prove too expensive, specifically when the maintenance is unplanned and results after some on-the-job accident, which was otherwise preventable. When the forklift operators are professionally trained on all safety operations and procedures, including forklift camera systems, costly mistakes, and serious mishaps, can easily be avoided. The result is a safe and productive business chains in which employees feel secured and valued. It will be a win-win for all the parties involved. 

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