A recent article by a safety adviser examines forklift hazards in the workplace. Under OSHA standards, forklift operators should be regularly evaluated and retrained. Forklifts are one of the most common pieces of equipment used in industry.
There are about 1.5 million forklift operators in the United States, according to a recent South Carolina worker safety report. Forklifts are used in virtually every industry. Forklifts are also called Powered Industrial Trucks, PITs, or fork trucks. Many injuries and even deaths each year result from improper forklift use.
Anytime a forklift driver uses the fork truck in an unsafe way, he or she should be retrained. This includes retraining after every accident or “close call.” A good forklift training program will take several factors into account. One of these factors is the operator’s level of experience and demonstrated skill. Another is the type of forklift being used. Training should specifically address any hazards in the workplace.
A recent South Carolina worker safety article demonstrates the importance of operator training to minimize injuries and fatalities. Many people are lulled into a false sense of security because the forklift controls are easy to handle. However, fork trucks cause many deaths each year.
Instability due to improper load balance is one of the major causes of forklift accidents. An operator should never add more weight to the back of the forklift to balance the load and make the truck more stable. This is a very common mistake, but it can easily result in a serious accident. Adding weight to the rear of the forklift changes the center of gravity and often causes the truck to flip over, sometimes with deadly results.
Forklift loads must be moved slowly. If the steering feels light, that’s a sign that the truck is unbalanced. An unbalanced fork truck is difficult to control and can easily flip over.
Attachments are often added to forklifts, especially in the manufacturing industry. Every attachment must be approved by the manufacturer in writing, prior to use. Attachments change the safety rating of the fork truck. Once the manufacturer approves the addition, new tags or decals will be issued for the forklift.
The South Carolina labor law board provides some of the best pieces of information for those of us that live in the great state of South Carolina. If you have not had the benefit of learning what information it provides, it takes just a minute to do so. From laws to information about how well our state is doing, the Department of Labor provides a great deal of resources for all citizens living here.
Those that need to know information about laws can find it here. This is the governing board of labor laws including those that pertain to child labor laws and minimum wage laws. In addition, the board provides a great deal of information to the individual such as what laws are in place to protect them such as those laws that govern worker’s safety. There are also laws that protect unions and more that are in place to insure that the place that we work are places that are safe and fair.
For those that are business owners, the South Carolina Labor Law Board provides a great deal of additional information. Here, business owners can find out which pieces of information are available to insure that the business is up and running well. In fact, they also provide for the need of having skilled employees to be hired. The department helps provide training and apprenticeships to those that are in need, which in turn helps employers to have an employee bank to be able to select qualified candidates from.
The South Carolina Labor Law Board is, if nothing else, a resource for anyone to tap into. From those that are looking for employment or those needing training to the business owner wanting to make sure they are within the law in as far as their business is run for employees, this is the place to go for the necessary information.