However, as much as such equipment can make an operator’s job smoother and lower the risk of back injuries or any other types of injuries related to overexertion, accidents may occur to the operator or nearby staff when the proper precautions are not taken.
Hence, after you have secured a multi directional forklift or any other forklift equipment, it’s important that you be aware of the possible injuries while operating them. Here are four common forklift operator injuries and how to prevent them.
Coming into contact with debris while driving
This is a significant problem to forklift operators and pedestrians moving along the path of the machine. It is a common problem caused by dirty floors having solid debris such as wooden and metal off-cuts.
Forklifts can move at a significant speed, and as such, may potentially cause damage to pedestrians. For instance, at a high speed, a forklift hitting an item can force it up in a direction that unsuspecting pedestrians or staff on-site don’t expect.
A possible solution to this problem is to have the areas where the forklift is operating clean and tidy always. This helps to prevent the chances of objects on the floor turning into dangerous projectiles.
Besides, certain items such as metals can cause punctures on the wheels of the forklift. They may also damage parts of the forklift, thus, costing the company a significant amount in repairs.
Getting struck by falling items
When you have an unbalanced forklift, chances are that the load will fall off when you’re carrying it. This may be due to improper packaging or damage.
When the load falls off, depending on its momentum, it can lead to some serious damages. It may injure the forklift operator, or someone else within the vicinity. Besides, the load itself gets damaged on impact.
To avoid such incidents, t’s important for the operator to countercheck and ensure that the load is stable. If unstable, the technicians will need to rearrange it or take it to another pallet.
Pedestrians alongside the path of a moving forklift can get serious injuries on contact. That’s why it’s advised that people keep a distance from the forklift, especially when it’s moving. Moreover, the path where the forklift passes through needs to have significant space. This allows the smooth movement of the equipment.
The forklift operator should equally move the forklift slowly when working in confined spaces having many people. Accidents like this take place due to poor visibility from the operator’s end. If possible, the operator should try and get rid of anything blocking their view of the surrounding.
To begin with, operators should constantly travel with loads positioned in order to have an obstructed view. This will help in lowering the possibility of hitting pedestrians.
Moreover, adding visual warnings like safety lights mounted to forklifts will show passers-by that the forklift is moving, ensuring their safety as they can simply move out of the way. Meanwhile, another effective way is by establishing a traffic management plan, with clearly designated separate paths for both pedestrians and forklift trucks to use.
Reducing the time passers-by are using the same paths as forklift trucks will lower the chances of them coming into contact with the forklift.
Forklifts have a simple mode of operation, which mainly entails balance.
Counterbalance machines have weight at the back to balance the loads at the front. This helps to bolster stability and avoid any crushing incident.
Without the weight at the back, heavy loads at the front can easily overturn the forklift. And when this happens, there’s a high chance that the operator may be crushed. Also, it’s imperative that you avoid overloading the forklift, as this increases instability, whether you’re using a standard or multi directional forklift.
When a unit overturns, it’s highly advisable to remain in the cabin as the equipment’s structure will offer some form of protection to operators, grab onto the steering wheel and prepare for impact as you’re moving your body away from the impact zone.
However, to lower the chances of such an incident occurring, ensure a properly installed and calibrated weight gauge will help in preventing units from overturning. Operators will be given the specific weight of the load or item they’re raising and be able to see if it goes over the rated lifting capacity of the equipment.
Now that you understand what are some of the potential accidents and injuries that may occur, ensure that you do apply the appropriate safety measures to guarantee the well-being of your staff.
For example, you could opt for the COMBI-CB with us, PAVES, as they’re an improved version of the traditional forklift, as driver visibility is maximised and high seating positioning is enabled to ensure complete protection from falling debris.