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What are your thoughts on forklift safety?

In many industries, the use of a forklift is a way of life. Even if you're not using one of these vehicles, there's always someone in close proximity doing so.

While there is no denying the benefits of using a forklift to complete a job, don't ever forget that it can also be a safety hazard.

There are many causes of forklift accidents in the workplace, including but not limited to the following:

  • Operating the forklift with too big of a load
  • Driving distracted
  • Taking shortcuts instead of using the safest route
  • Striking a coworker or another piece of equipment

As a forklift operator, you need to know exactly what you're doing at all times. Also, you should follow safety guidelines to reduce the risk of an accident.

If you're in close proximity to an operating forklift, make yourself easy to be seen while keeping your distance when at all possible.

A forklift accident can be every bit as dangerous as a conventional motor vehicle accident. Even though you're not moving as fast, you could still suffer a serious injury that alters your health forever.

If you are part of a forklift accident, have a coworker call 911 for immediate medical assistance. Also, make it clear to your supervisor as to what went wrong, so there is no gray area in regards to the cause of the accident.

As you start the recovery phase, focus on your long-term health and well-being, along with your legal rights. You may be able to file a claim for workers' compensation, making it easier to recover without additional stress.

Source: Safety and Health, "7 common workplace safety hazards," accessed Jan. 19, 2018

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