Forklifts make work easier and quicker in a workplace. However, they can become a safety hazard. Despite investing in things like operator training and certification, there is more to do for a safer workplace while using a forklift. Check out the following most-ignored considerations regarding forklift safety.
Do you have a speed limit in your workplace? Having a speed limit seems obvious but if you do a quick search, most warehouse managers ignore enforcing a speed limit for forklift operators. Telling your staff regularly against dangerous driving is not enough.
Consider installing a reminder such as signage pointing out the speed limit allowed in the workplace. You should consider a different speed limit for different areas on your premises. Doing this allows estimating and calculating logistical costs.
Noise is a big factor in industrial locations and warehouses. This might be coming from welding, machinery, vehicles, and tools. To keep out the noise, some employees wear headsets or earmuffs. Others just want to listen to music or their favorite podcast while working. Noise from an oncoming forklift might seem loud enough to those nearby. However, this can be drowned by noise from other activities.
So, noise is not a good solution to warn pedestrians and other operators of forklift traffic. You should order forklift blue safety lights to enhance the visibility of oncoming forklifts. The beam from the truck is enough to let others realize that a forklift is coming to give way. This significantly reduces risks and enhances workplace safety.
Traffic management plan
As your business grows over the years, there’s a chance of ignoring some inefficiencies and site issues. These can go untouched for an extended period regardless of how annoying or inconveniencing they can be. Keeping up with something becomes a norm but brews bigger problems in the future.
It is not too late to check your traffic management plan and make appropriate changes however small they might be. You will notice a significant improvement in efficiency and less stress. To enhance safety around forklifts, your traffic management plan should incorporate the physical separation of people and trucks.
Lacking no-go areas
After realizing the importance of a traffic plan, you should also consider introducing no-go areas. This requires investing in barriers, bollards, or guard railings to create no-go areas in your work environment. It is a good idea to do this before anything bad happens. Even if you have been with your employees for years, never assume that they understand all danger zones. Installing the no-go zones is cheaper than fixing repairs and treating injuries.
One of the best ways to enforce safety in your workplace is through written proof. Avoid relying on word of mouth since it can be distorted. Enforcing exclusion zones in the workplace can help limit accidents.
Letting your staff know about your company’s safety policy in writing will save you from hefty fines in case of a fatal accident. Ensure to issue safety notices to staff and everyone should read and sign them to keep in your records.
Another mostly ignored safety precaution in workplaces is signage. You should invest in appropriate and clear signage all over your premises. This is to assist and guide staff, clients, and visitors to your premises. With signage in place, locating different areas will become so easy.
Additionally, you can use the signage to indicate danger zones, exclusion zones, and speed limits. Enhancing the dissemination of information and assistance using signage will significantly boost safety in your workplace.
Periodic maintenance and replacements
When everything is working fine, there’s a strong likelihood of ignoring to undertake maintenance and replacement. Your staff should check all equipment before a shift. This allows identifying anything that needs repair or replacement. Even when the equipment still works perfectly, ignoring to take immediate action just escalates the problem.
Apart from equipment, the appropriate software you use needs periodic upgrades to new versions. Doing this addresses safety concerns and issues before causing downtime. Always ensure to have everything to the latest version. Equally important is to invest in safety features and products or equipment that give better value and lessen the chances of workplace accidents.