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Are you following these forklift safety guidelines?

Perhaps you have been operating a forklift for years, or maybe you are relatively new to it. While it seems like the least dangerous of the heavy machinery on a job site, in reality it can be just as deadly as a crane or front loader. Safety guidelines exist not only to keep those around you safe, but to provide you with protection as the operator.

Unfortunately, strictly adhering to safety guidelines may not be enough to avoid every potential accident. Sometimes things go wrong in such a way that there is no possible way to avoid injury. When this happens, you may need to file a workers' compensation claim with your San Diego employer to ensure that you have coverage for your medical bills and lost wages. Before you suffer an injury, following the forklift safety tips below can reduce the risk of a workplace injury.

Training

Training, and sometimes retraining, are important for those that operate heavy machinery. This means that if you are using a forklift, you should have the appropriate certification.

Attire

Wearing the appropriate clothing can go long way to keep you free from harm while you are operating a forklift. For example, you should always be wearing a hard hat, a safety vest or jacket, and the proper shoes. You definitely do not want to hop in the cab wearing flip-flops or any loose-fitting clothing that might get caught on something.

Do a "once over"

As with any kind of machinery or tool, you should do a routine check of your equipment before using it. For a forklift, this means you should check the tires, brakes, controls, the warning system and the mast. If there are any signs of damage to the forklift, you should notify your supervisor immediately.

Pick your route

Take a look at the area around you and where you intend to drive the forklift. Be sure it is clear of any hazards and that the path is able to take the weight of the machine while it is carrying the intended load. Also, take a look at what is above you. Make a note of areas with low hanging obstacles that might catch the load.

Keep it under the speed limit

When you are operating a forklift, be sure to do so at a slow speed. Do not take any corners too fast since this might cause the forklift to tip over. In addition, give yourself enough time to bring the machine to a stop in a gradual manner.

If you are operating a forklift, the above tips can help keep you and those around you safe from harm. However, if you suffer a work-related injury, keep in mind that you may be able to file a workers' compensation claim for your medical expenses and lost wages.

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Bender & Gritz, APLC
350 10th Avenue, Suite 900
San Diego, CA 92101

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