Operating a forklift represents a dangerous profession. The Department of Labor reports that more than 600 people lose their lives in forklift accidents each year. More than 7,500 suffer non-fatal injuries.

Don’t let this happen to you. With the right precautions, you can stay out of those unfortunate statistics. Here are a few forklift safety tips you can use to remain safe during your workday:

Stay Alert

Any daily routine can become humdrum. Your tasks become so familiar that you can almost sleepwalk through them. That might be fine for someone shuffling papers in the back office. It can become deadly for a forklift operator.

As such, you should never let your attention wander when driving a forklift. Instead, stay aware of your surroundings at all times.

Don’t operate the forklift if you become too tired to maintain your attention. Similarly, be careful of certain prescription medications. They can impair your ability to think clearly. (And it goes without saying that you shouldn’t operate a forklift under the influence of drugs or alcohol.)

Follow All Safety Procedures

Work in a warehouse can get chaotic. Everything always seems to happen at once. As a forklift operator, you’re responsible to keep operations flowing, moving materials and inventory to where they’re needed.

This time pressure can tempt you to cut corners. Don’t do it. Safety procedures have been created for a reason. Even in a hectic environment, you should strive to follow every guideline.

In fact, the safety rules become even more important when you face chaos around you. Your attention is already going to be strained. Maintaining a proper safety focus will give you an anchor…and ultimately leave you with less to worry about.

Take Ownership of Your Training

Yes, your company should take responsibility for training you. But ultimately, you’re the one risking physical danger from day today. If an accident occurs, you’ll face the prospect of injury or death.

As such, you shouldn’t rely solely on your employer to keep you adequately trained. Take ownership of the process. Here are a few steps you can take to maximize your safety focus:

  • Ask questions
  • Research safety information
  • Pursue additional certifications

Monitor Your Equipment

Many forklift accidents happen because of defective or damaged equipment. Maintaining peak operating functions helps keep everyone safe.

Make sure your forklift is in good working order before each shift. Have a checklist to run through every key function. Meanwhile, report any issue to management as soon as possible, so that they can implement the necessary repair.

Find the Right Employer

A stellar safety record requires a collaboration between you and your company. You need to do everything you can. But you also want to work for an employer that prioritizes your health as much as it does profit.

Working with a top recruiting firm, like SmartTalent, makes that possible. You can find the perfect fit for you.

Contact SmartTalent to locate a safety-first employer that can boost your earnings power.

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