A middle aged man operating a forklift turned and suddenly lost traction. Consequently he was thrown off, crushed and died. This unfortunate scenario is just a case in point to emphasize the need for training or retraining, testing and practicing safety strategies in the industrial workplace.
The OSHA or the agency created to prevent occupational fatality and minimize work hazards stiffened its resolve to avert mishaps in operations especially those involving forklifts. The OSHA standard mainly aims quality selection and hazard ratings of every forklifts used and for the proper procedure of its upgrading and maintenance as well. In part, how the machinery is operated or driven is also included in the guideline and truth be told, OSHA imposes a $7,000 fine for every untrained operator.
Most accidents in the work area are caused by operational, behavioral and mechanical factors of the machines and other related elements which include improper backing and turning, erratic driving, malfunctions, poor maintenance and lack of training. Some drivers believe that anything drivable, in this case a forklift, is as easy as driving a car. They ought to understand that driving the equipment requires proper training and technical know-how as mandated in the OSHA standard. The training involves classroom instructions and practical training. The content specifically outlines the standard that relates to both the machinery and the special hazards, such as behavioral factors and area layouts that increase risks of restricted forklift driving, in any given workplace. Evaluation of the operator’s driving skill is significantly assessed and for any driving issues, a refresher course is readily available.
At the end of the training, the operators are duly certified that they have met all the training and evaluation for skilled forklift driving and that this is adequate proof that the drivers are properly trained. In the event that the layouts of the workplace have changed or are redesigned, additional training for forklift driving is expected. The OSHA has undoubtedly specified certain requirements needed for operators and employers to fulfill. This is a prudent option because driving a forklift is indeed different as opposed to driving automobiles and heavy trucks. For instance, the wheelbase of the truck is shorter and that the center of gravity when loaded varies so that stability is unpredictable and unaccustomed operators may find such matter a problem. A trained forklift driver is in the position to lessen hazard operations and other related risks in the work area.
On the whole, management of work-related problems involving lift trucks is attained by adequate training and certification as implemented by OSHA standard. The dangerous element in the workplace is highly eliminated when these accounts are met.