Who should be trained on forklift safety?

Forklift safety training is an important part of minimizing hazards in the workplace. At first, most people would assume that only forklift operators will need forklift safety training, but that is not actually the case. Just about everyone who works with or around forklifts can benefit from at least some level of training. Of course, the operators will need to have the most training, but being able to find the right balance for everyone is critical.

Forklift Safety Training by Role

Anyone who works in a facility where forklifts are in use will benefit from being trained on how to stay safe around them. Forklifts present many different types of hazards, which is why the safety training is so critical. The following are some of the main categories of people who need training, and what that may look like:

  • Forklift Operator – The forklift operator needs to know how to safely drive the vehicle. This means understanding safe speeds based on load and environment, how to take corners, how to move up and down ramps, and much more. Forklift safety training for forklift operators should be part of their overall certification training.
  • Pallet Loader & Unloader – Those who load or unload products on pallets will need to know how to keep everything properly balanced. They also need to be able to keep each pallet at the proper weight based on the type of forklift being used.
  • General Employee – All employees who work in a facility with forklifts need to know how to watch out for them, what type of visibility restrictions they have, and more. It is everyone’s job to make sure forklifts can be used safely.
  • Management – Management teams need to understand the risks associated with forklifts so they can take steps to mitigate them.

Only by having all employees within a facility work together is it possible to mitigate the hazards associated with forklifts in the workplace. According to OSHA estimates, forklifts are the cause of 85 fatal accidents per year. In addition, approximately 11% of all forklifts will be in some type of accident each year. These numbers are far too high, which is why it is so important to have everyone working to improve forklift safety.


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