ELEVATE YOUR FORKLIFT SAFETY
By Chris Sullivan, Director of Risk Management
Forklifts and other Powered Industrial Trucks (PIT) continue to play a vital part in many companies’ operations but also represent exposure to many hazards associated with them. According to NSC Injury Facts, in 2020 there were almost 7,300 non-fatal forklift-associated injuries, resulting in 17 days away (median) from work. And in 2021, forklifts were the cause of 70 work-related deaths. These painful and costly statistics can be improved with a commitment to proper PIT safety training, PIT written safety program, and equipment maintenance plan. Here are some of the useful details and tools to help you and your Clients.
SUNZ Risk Managers, from their combined decades’ worth of experience, have found the most common contributing factors to PIT/forklift accidents include:
• PIT / Forklift operators are not properly trained on the specific type of machine they are operating.
• Lowering or raising a load while the forklift is still in motion, driving forward or in reverse.
• Failure to look in the direction of travel.
• Not wearing a seatbelt.
• Lack of awareness training for employees working in the vicinity of PIT/forklift operations.
OSHA also takes PIT/forklift matters seriously and frequently issues citations for incorrect PIT/forklift use. For their 2022 fiscal year, Powered Industrial Trucks (1910.178) was once again one of the top 10 most frequently cited standards with 1,889 citations, 1,293 Inspections, and over $6.4 million in penalties.
These factors are found across multiple industries, but all are within the employers’ control to prevent with the proper training. To help combat the infractions and accidents associated with PIT / forklift use, the SUNZ Risk Management Team has compiled the Powered Industrial Truck / Forklift Toolkit – a quick guide to PIT/Forklift safety and best practices, including:
• PIT/Forklift Training Requirements
• Where, Who & When Training is Required
• Why Forklift Safety is Important
• Important Reminders, State Plans, & Definition of a ‘Qualified Trainer’
• Essential Tools for PIT/Forklift Safety with SAMPLES
• Best Practices Checklist
Implementing this toolkit into your safety plans will assist you in avoiding contributing to the thousands of injuries, weeks away from work, and preventable fatalities associated with PITs and forklifts. Ensure all employees and locations that are exposed to PITs and forklifts are equipped with these tools to promote safety and compliance.
Make the SUNZ Forklift Safety Toolkit a key component of your risk management initiatives!
SUNZ Forklift Safety Toolkit is also available on the Risk Management Center (RMC); Resources dropdown, Risk Management Library, SUNZ Insurance Company Content, and Forklift (PIT) Safety Toolkit.
For additional assistance with Forklift Safety or any other safety needs, please contact the SUNZ Insurance Risk Management Team.
We are here to help!