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Safety is essential

The use of forklifts, or industrial trucks, is integral to running an efficient foodservice distribution center. Without them, we’d be unable to take advantage of vertical space, or we’d be lifting crates and pallets with an unwieldy assembly of ropes and winches comprising a manually powered hoist.

The Industrial Truck Association represents manufacturers of lift trucks, automated guided vehicles, and similar equipment in North America. They created National Forklift Safety Day eight years ago to highlight the safe use of forklifts, the value of operator training, and the need for daily equipment checks. DC Velocity reminds us that this year, National Forklift Safety Day fell on June 8 this year

A strong safety culture is vital to foodservice distribution centers and should be emphasized at every opportunity. According to an OSHA study, the top causes of forklift-related accidents include operator inattention, forklift overturn, unstable loads, operators struck by load, and lack of training. Industry estimates say 90 people are killed in forklift accidents each year, with 34,900 being seriously injured. According to the National Safety Council, the average cost of a forklift incident is $38,000 in direct costs such as compensation, medical expenses and legal services; and $150,000 in indirect costs such as hiring replacements, lost productivity, and reduced morale.

Deaths annually due to forklift accidents
Average cost of forklift incidents (not including compensation, medical benefits, and other expenses)
The year Forklift Safety Day was established

3 safety tips featured in DC Velocity

So in honor of National Forklift Safety Day, we thought we’d share DC Velocity’s top three forklift safety tips.

  1. Wear proper personal protective equipment, including a hard hat, protective footwear, and high-visibility clothing.
  2. Buckle up. While this may be one of the most obvious rules, it’s also one of the most important, as overturned forklifts are a leading cause of forklift-related accidents and fatalities.
  3. Know the forklift’s lifting capacity—and don’t exceed it. Load capacities can be found in the forklift’s operating manual and are listed on the equipment itself. Keeping loads within the equipment’s weight capacity decreases the risk of tipping.

You can see more top safety tips here.

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