Safety Tip of the Week: Be vigilant about forklift safety

Mar 19, 2020
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Written by Washington Retail
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Forklift safety is important, in part, because it’s a necessary tool in many retail workplaces.

Many employees are injured after they mistakenly drive one off a loading dock or fall between a dock and an unsecured trailer. Other workers are hurt after being struck by a careless forklift driver or when they fall while standing on elevated pallets and tines. Most incidents also involve property damage, including damage to overhead sprinklers, racking, pipes, walls, and other machinery. You also need to consider the type of load, speed, incline and surface when operating a forklift.

Washington Code, WAC 296-863, states that forklift operators are required to first be at least 18 years of age, trained and certified.

The RS Safety Library has documents and videos to help you with forklift safety. Here is a 32-page guide on the safe operation of forklifts.

Just as pilots do a safety check before taking off, you should make sure a forklift is safe to use before you hop on. That includes whether the driver is properly trained or experienced.

Washington Retail employs Rick Means, Directory of Safety and Education, who is available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact him at 360-943-9198 x118, or rmeans@waretailservices.com