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Cutting down on forklift accidents not as hard as it might seem

New Jersey residents are employed in many different kinds of dangerous jobs. Working in a warehouse, though, is definitely one of the more hazardous types of employment. The constant use of heavy machinery, including forklifts, makes workplace injuries relatively common. And because accidents, when they do occur, often involve heavy equipment, the injuries can be relatively severe.

Experts in workplace safety say that forklift accidents are one of the most preventable kinds of accidents in warehouses. There are three main safety tips that have been identified that can make operating a forklift in a warehouse safer:

  • Avoid tipping the truck over. The stability of the vehicle is decreased if it is being driven too fast, especially around turns. Slowing down, particularly when turning or when carrying an unevenly distributed load, can prevent accidents and save lives. If a truck is about to tip, it is important that the operator not jump off. Many forklift injuries are incurred when a heavy truck lands on an employee who has jumped off.
  • Avoid irresponsible driving. Even though warehouses are staffed with responsible adults, the temptation to horse around with the equipment can be great. Too many accidents have happened by employees who were goofing off instead of staying safe.
  • Assume that pedestrians don't see you coming. The temptation for a forklift driver might be to assume that everyone will get out of the way, but it's important to think the other way. Keeping your eyes in the direction you're driving is crucial; so too is honking the horn if it seems possible that a person doesn't see you coming.

Source: Truckinginfo, "Three Simple Ways to Prevent Forklift Accidents," Tom Reddon, retrieved June 18, 2014

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