Why is forklift safety training important?

A forklift is a very popular type of vehicle used in a variety of different work environments.  Compared to many other types of equipment, forklifts are also quite easy to operate. This can make it tempting to allow people to operate forklifts without the necessary training. Unfortunately, this can lead to significant hazards that could result in serious accidents. Understanding why forklift safety training is so important will help to prevent people from operating it without a full understanding of the risks that are present.

Risks Associated with Forklifts

There are many risks associated with operating a forklift in an unsafe way. The most obvious is that the forklift could tip over, which puts the operator at risk, anyone in the area at risk, and the materials being moved. In addition, if a forklift is not loaded properly, it the materials could fall off while in transport, which could cause a lot of damage. Depending on what types of materials are being transported, the risk could be significant to the entire facility.

Another risk of forklifts is that if it isn’t loaded and operated properly, the operator won’t have good visibility of what is going on around them. This can result in someone getting hit by the forklift, which could cause serious injuries or even fatalities. Forklifts can turn in a very tight radius, which also presents the risk of someone getting trapped between the forklift and a wall or other object. It is easy to see just how many different hazards are present when a forklift is in operation, which is why it is so important to provide everyone with proper forklift safety training.

OSHA Compliance

In addition to the risks, companies will also want to make sure that their forklift operators are properly trained in order to remain in compliance with OSHA regulations. OSHA has regulations related to all types of vehicles that are present in the workplace, including forklifts. These regulations can be found in multiple sections of OSHA’s guidelines based on the type of work environment. General construction, marine docks, longshore environments, and others will each have their own set of regulations related to operating these types of vehicles. 


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