It’s a difficult question to ask a forklift operator after an accident. Was the incident a result of the driver not knowing the proper procedure or being willfully ignorant of the safety regulations? It is, however, an important distinction.
Making sure your operators, and anyone who works around a forklift, is aware of the correct safety procedures is a fulltime job.
The good news is, most forklift operators are experienced professionals who are well aware of the correct safety procedures and regulations. Knowing these safety steps is a requirement to get an operator’s license. There are those, however, who either willfully disregard safety procedures or are just unaware of the proper steps.
It is up to the manager of the fleet to ensure that his/her operators are completely aware and in line with the rules, regulations and procedures necessary to operate a safe warehouse or worksite. It is also the manager’s duty to determine what may have led to an accident.
A simple test is to observe the operator making thorough pre and post-shift inspections. Keep track of how much time the operator takes to complete the checklist. If the driver zips through the check, chances are they are missing something (first of all) and are more likely to cut corners when they are behind the wheel as well.
The good news here is that in most cases, regular feedback from the manager can not only encourage proper procedures but ensure that these steps are being followed. Reward your operators for following the rules – studies show that when you reward employees (even if it’s just a ‘thank you’) they become more engaged and less likely to cause an accident.
If you have concerns about your fleet’s operators, or believe they may need more training, contact our technicians at (704) 842-3242 and we can arrange a training course to remind everyone just how important safety procedures around a forklift are.