Warehouse work is one of the most dangerous occupations to have. While you may be among those who find the work exhilarating, you are also well aware that a tragic accident can occur in a moment of carelessness.
Ideally, safety is the motto of your Ohio employer. This means your employer complies with laws requiring thorough training and testing for anyone who will be operating a forklift in your warehouse. Injuries from forklift accidents can be catastrophic if not fatal. It is critical that you understand the risks and the steps you can take to keep yourself and your coworkers safe on the job.
Be proactive about your safety
In single year, it is not unusual for more than 100 workers to die in accidents involving forklifts. Even a small forklift can weigh three times as much as a mid-size car, and larger ones weigh over 30,000 pounds. You should know as much as you can about the different kinds of forklifts, their capabilities and their danger zones, and you should only engage in safe behaviors, including the following:
- Take your training seriously and seek additional training when assigned to use a forklift model you have never used before.
- Inspect your machine to ensure its safety features — lights, horns, alarms, brakes, etc. — are all in working order.
- Always wear your seat belt when operating a forklift.
- Be aware of where you are going by keeping your line of vision clear, watching in the direction you are traveling and using your mirrors.
- Avoid tipping by balancing your load, keeping it close to the ground as you move and maintaining a safe speed, especially around turns.
- Avoid overloading your forklift or trying to work too quickly when stacking or removing items from shelves.
- Know the safety zones and best practices for when you are on foot around moving forklifts.
Of course, it may be easy to forget the inherent danger when you work around forklifts all day. To relieve the monotony or fill down time, you and your coworkers may be tempted to use the machines for fun or horseplay. This is one of the surest ways to bring tragedy to your workplace.
On the other hand, if you should suffer an injury in the normal course of your work, you will want to seek workers’ compensation benefits as soon as possible to avoid financial hardships. With the help of a knowledgeable attorney, you may have less stress during the process and improved chances of maximizing your benefits.