Forklifts, though essential to many job sites, present a number of dangers to workers. No matter where you are in Chicagoland and what industry you work in, you want to know how to stay safe around these machines. Much of a workplace’s forklift safety depends on the employer.
Training and ensuring a safety culture
First of all, employers should train the appropriate personnel to be experts in forklift operating. Training should cover the various threats, such as those posed by weight overload and loads with an unbalanced weight. Even the most professional operators should be retrained on occasion as some safety concepts can become overlooked in familiar situations. Everything should go toward cultivating a safety-conscious workforce.
Inspections and other safe protocols
Workers should know when a forklift is defective, and employers should have such equipment placed out of service. Possible defects include leaks, cracks and worn-out tires. Once in the forklift, operators must follow safe practices by wearing their seat belt, traveling slowly and carrying loads around 4 inches from the ground.
Employers must provide the right tools for a given job, too. Signs should be posted to warn about safety threats and detail what workers should do in case of an accident. Workers should be wearing the right personal protective equipment, too. Warehouses should come with a warehouse management system to help flesh out safety procedures.
Filing a claim after a forklift accident
Forklift accidents can still arise, either through some oversight or through a clearly negligent act. Regardless of who was at fault, on-the-job injuries can give rise to workers’ compensation claims; the question is whether employers will deny payment or not. Before you file your claim, you may want a lawyer to evaluate it. The lawyer may help with any appeals, too, and explain when you might consider a settlement.