Safety Tips for Operating Forklifts

Why focus on forklifts and powered industrial trucks? OSHA requires powered industrial truck (forklift) operators to meet training requirements to ensure workers have the required skills and knowledge to work safely. Safety training benefits include fewer injuries, increased morale, and lower insurance premiums.
June 29, 2021 | Retail
By: Aaron S.
Aaron joined Acuity in 2017 as our Retail Specialist—bringing with him almost 30 years of experience in a broad range of retail. He started his career stocking shelves in the seasonal department at a local retailer. A few years later, Aaron transitioned to a gas station/convenience store, where he worked second shift while getting his degree in organizational communications from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. It was during this time he made the move to the loss prevention and safety aspect of retail. Over the next 25 years, he worked in various retail segments, including video games, cosmetics/skincare, hardware/appliances, pharmacy/grocery, and clothing. Aaron held several positions during this time, including District Loss Prevention Manager, Regional Loss Prevention Manager, Regional Compliance Auditor, and National Manager of Loss Prevention and Operations. Outside work, Aaron likes to spend time with his wife (who has also worked in retail for over 20 years) and their twin teenage boys. They enjoy being outdoors on the water, fishing, and camping. As the Retail Specialist, Aaron’s goal is to enhance the partnership between retailers and Acuity by showing retailers that an insurance company can be a supportive resource and that Acuity truly understands their industry.

Trivia time! Did you know that June is National Safety Month? You are probably thinking that safety never takes a day off in your organization, which is a great attitude. This month, Acuity is championing your efforts, with specific focus on forklift and powered industrial truck safety.  

 

Why focus on forklifts and powered industrial trucks? OSHA requires powered industrial truck (forklift) operators to meet training requirements to ensure workers have the required skills and knowledge to work safely. Safety training benefits include fewer injuries, increased morale, and lower insurance premiums. The bottom line is that operation of this equipment is highly specialized. No one starts out with the required knowledge, skills, and abilities to safely operate a forklift. Remember that training received at a previous employer does not qualify someone as a driver at your company. As the employer, you must train new employees before handing over the keys.   

 

Forklift and powered industrial truck accidents are often serious, and injuries don’t just happen to forklift operators—pedestrians are also at risk. Check out these facts from the National Safety Council:

 

  • Forklift accidents resulted in 79 worker deaths in 2019.
  • Forklift overturns are the leading cause of fatalities involving forklifts.
  • Forklift injuries resulted in 8,140 days away from work in 2019.

 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that about 70% of forklift accidents in the U.S. could be prevented if companies implemented more stringent training policies.

 

Good news! Acuity is here to help. We are introducing a forklift/PIT safety sticker that calls attention to important training elements. It can be helpful to give trained employees a reminder about safe operations, and safety stickers can be a great way to supplement your ongoing training efforts. These stickers may also deter an unauthorized employee from operating your forklift.  

 

Training topics that are reinforced with this decal include:

  • Operators must be trained in use.
  • Seat belts must be worn.
  • Pre-operational inspections are required.
  • Operators must look out for pedestrians.
  • Driving and maneuvering skills are unique to this equipment.
  • Loads must be carefully selected and positioned for transport.

 

If you would like to order these stickers or are looking for additional training resources, log in to your Acuity account and click on the Safety Materials link in the Resources and Tools section.  

By: Aaron S.
Aaron joined Acuity in 2017 as our Retail Specialist—bringing with him almost 30 years of experience in a broad range of retail. He started his career stocking shelves in the seasonal department at a local retailer. A few years later, Aaron transitioned to a gas station/convenience store, where he worked second shift while getting his degree in organizational communications from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. It was during this time he made the move to the loss prevention and safety aspect of retail. Over the next 25 years, he worked in various retail segments, including video games, cosmetics/skincare, hardware/appliances, pharmacy/grocery, and clothing. Aaron held several positions during this time, including District Loss Prevention Manager, Regional Loss Prevention Manager, Regional Compliance Auditor, and National Manager of Loss Prevention and Operations. Outside work, Aaron likes to spend time with his wife (who has also worked in retail for over 20 years) and their twin teenage boys. They enjoy being outdoors on the water, fishing, and camping. As the Retail Specialist, Aaron’s goal is to enhance the partnership between retailers and Acuity by showing retailers that an insurance company can be a supportive resource and that Acuity truly understands their industry.