According to workplacesafetyadvice.co.uk, it is believed that every year, around 8,000 accidents at work involving forklifts are reported. Many of these forklift accidents are serious and some result in fatalities.
A great deal of forklift related accidents are caused by operator errors, lack of knowledge concerning equipment and/or the working environment and lack of adequate training as a whole. This, of course, makes it clear that sufficient training is a necessity before you are asked to operate a forklift.
Legislation for employees who operate a forklift
Employers and employees preparing to operate a forklift need to be aware of relevant legislation within the 1974 Health & Safety at Work Act and the regulations for:
- Provision & Use of Workplace Equipment
- Lifting Operations & Lifting Equipment
- Health, Safety & Welfare in the Workplace
- Personal Protective Equipment
- Control of Hazardous Substances
It is illegal for anyone under the age of 16 to operate a forklift and all operators must be provided with training in the use of a forklift.
This training must be provided by an experienced, accredited trainer. Initially carried out within a safe training area, as opposed to real working situations where the risk of work accidents would be unacceptable. Training should be divided into several individual stages and include:
- Basic skills and knowledge necessary to operate a forklift safely
- Specific training related to handling attachment and knowledge concerning the working environment
- ‘On the job’ training under close supervision
Refresher courses for qualified forklift operators should also be provided, and training records must be kept and regularly updated.
Other causes of forklift incidents
Not all forklift related work accidents are the result of poor or lack of training. Other common causes of workplace accidents involving forklifts include:
- Poor truck maintenance
- Unsuitable premises or gangways (too narrow, uneven ground likely to cause work injuries by forklifts tipping)
- Poor lighting
Lack of safety signs in areas where forklifts operate and lack of safe working procedures are also common causes of injuries at work.
Legally bound to prevent forklift and other work-related accidents by providing adequate training, maintaining forklifts and other equipment in good working order and having safe working procedures in place, employers who do not provide training or maintain their forklifts and other equipment could be held liable to pay employees work injury compensation if an accident in the workplace occurs as the result of their negligence. Discover how to claim industrial injury compensation by calling our team on 0800 689 0500 or 0333 500 0993 now.
Date Published: December 9, 2015
Author: David Brown