Safety First: How to Navigate a Forklift…when You’re Not the Person Operating It

Most warehouse jobs in Bethlehem, PA and the surrounding area involve working with or alongside a forklift. A warehouse essential, these powered industrial trucks make it easy to lift and move goods around the building.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires employers to train all workers who operate forklifts, but everyone else still needs to know how to stay safe around these powerful machines. In 2017, private industry employers reported 2.8 million nonfatal injuries and illnesses, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You don’t want to become a statistic, so it’s important to exercise caution when working alongside a forklift.

When everyone follows proper safety guidelines, sharing a workplace with a forklift is nothing to worry about. Of course, you should never rely on others to keep you safe, so here’s some advice to stay safe when a forklift is hard at work in your warehouse.

4 Tips to Navigate a Forklift You’re Not Operating

 

Be Alert

Never walk in the path of a forklift. Be aware of your surroundings when moving around the warehouse. Always look both ways when crossing an aisle and listen carefully for the sounds of a forklift — i.e., motor running, beeping in reverse, etc.

Keep Pathways Clear

Forklifts can’t travel safely when their pathways are obstructed. Never move goods into aisles that need to remain open, as this can create a major safety hazard. If the forklift collides with items in its path, both the operator and bystanders can sustain injuries.

Ride With Caution

Don’t get on a forklift with the operator unless you have a designated seat, advises the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. If the machine has seatbelts, always use them. It might seem overly cautious, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Forklifts are very powerful machines, so they always need to be used as intended.

Be Safe When Elevated

NIOSH cautions to never stand on the forks of an elevated forklift. Only allow yourself to be elevated on a platform when the forklift is directly below the work area. Even if you think you can handle a dodgy move, it’s just not worth the risk.

Searching for a new warehouse opportunity in the Lehigh Valley? HTSS, Inc. wants to help you find the perfect fit. Contact us today to find a temporary, temp-to-hire or direct hire job that fits your schedule!

 

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