About 110,000 forklift related accidents happen every year, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Last year alone, more than 50 people died from forklift accidents.
Injuries and deaths related to forklifts often happen when people stand too close to moving forklifts, according to an article by Machinery Equipment Today. In fact, most workers who were injured by a forklift were aware of the machine’s presence. The forklift operator may have turned or accelerated improperly, or the operator and the worker didn’t communicate.
Here are three ways you can reduce the risk of forklift accidents in your plant:
- Separate pedestrian and forklift traffic
- Reduce the number of people working near forklifts
- Reduce the number of times drivers get on and off forklifts
Separating pedestrian traffic is the most effective way to reduce forklift accidents, but it may require companies to change the layout of their facility. It’s best when pedestrians and forklifts have separate designated lanes.
Besides changing traffic patterns, it’s also important to reduce the number of people working near forklifts. One of the most congested areas in a warehouse is around the dock doors. There are people building loads, forklifts bringing loads to and from a stretch wrapper and possibly another person operating the stretch wrapper. All of these people need to pay close attention to their surroundings while still focusing on their job. If not, it could result in needless accidents.
If there isn’t a person operating the stretch wrapper, the forklift drivers must get on and off their vehicles multiple times throughout the day to wrap loads. This puts them at risk of injuring anything from their ankle to their back. In fact, according to the Warehousing Education and Research Council, one in three forklift-related injuries occur when operators get on and off their forklift.
Luckily, there’s a solution. Modern stretch wrappers with enhanced automation can cut the film from the load at the end of the wrap cycle and hold the film to attach it to the next load. And these machines can be started with a remote control or lanyard switch. This eliminates the need for a person to be near the control panel operating the machine and keeps the drivers from having to get on and off their forklifts, reducing the risk of injury.
To learn more about how stretch wrappers can help your drivers stay on their forklifts and reduce injuries, go to Lantech.com
This post was published on April 8, 2016 and updated on October 4, 2018.