In certain industries, Texas workers are often asked to operate heavy and dangerous machinery. Because this can often lead to accidents, it is important that every worker is adequately trained on both how to operate the machine and how to improve safety around it. According to Atlantic Training, forklifts can reach a speed of 10 miles per hour and often weight more than three tons. Operating them safely can save lives.

Perhaps the most important thing you can do while operating a forklift is stay attentive and alert, not only to the machine but to your surroundings. The following provide specific instructions on forklift safety:

  • Always go downhill in reverse, but up a ramp in forward
  • Avoid unstable or slippery surfaces
  • Alert others with your voice or horn when you are coming
  • Stay a safe distance away from other trucks and people
  • Stop only when it is possible for you to do so safely
  • Watch close for any changes in the environment

Just like in a passenger vehicle, you should always wear your seat belt while in the operator’s seat. If the vehicle falls over, the frame and seatbelt should provide adequate protection. Never operate a forklift with greasy or wet shoes or hands. Follow the appropriate dress code and always remain in control of the vehicle.

You can also protect those around you by carefully checking before you back up or turn the vehicle, do not allow anyone to walk or stand beneath the forks and avoid any fast moves. Employees who are asked to drive forklifts as part of their work duties should expect adequate training and safety gear from their employer.

This is for educational purposes and should not be interpreted as legal advice.