Forklifts Safety
05 Jul 2016
Delta Materials

How to Create a Forklift Safety Culture By Monitoring Impacts: Part 2

 You’re going to remember the time when you thought it wouldn’t happen to you. One of your industry contacts was telling you how they paid substantial OSHA fines for allowing operators to use forklifts even after the operators completed pre-use operational compliance checklists that showed the forklifts were non-compliant.

The individual said he didn’t know the operators were saying that the forklifts weren’t in compliance. Operators said no one paid attention. “He said”/“she said” turned into a story too frustrating not to share. And then it turned into your own worst nightmare when it happened at one of your facilities.

Unfortunately for many logistics executives and warehouse general managers, this situation is all too real because of a lack of control and insight into the safe operation of forklifts. Thanks to advancements in forklift-based technologies, such as fleet and operator management systems, these instances may start to decline because of the availability of critical information that affords the opportunity to create and maintain a culture that champions safety. And if your forklift operator behavior can be changed, then it is likely they will be safer – and your facility performance metrics will be better.

Here’s a method logistics managers and executives are employing to change behavior related to forklift safety:


When a forklift is involved in an impact event, it is important that on-board technology is advanced enough to separate fact from fiction. Apathy toward impact alarms is understandable considering as many as 70 percent of impact alarms were considered to be nuisance alarms with past technologies. The technology must be reliable and meaningful in order for managers to identify, encourage and enforce a change in operator behavior. A scalable, high-quality impact-sensing system is an essential component.

Once impact monitoring is in place, the system can analyze impact events and provide managers with an easy-to-monitor visual cue for when impacts require their attention. Operators understand that impacts can be easily audited to determine responsibility. As a result, truck damage from impacts generally decreases and safety increases. In addition, ongoing monitoring makes it easier to identify operators who require additional training or locations that are accounting for a high percentage of impacts. Real-time coaching provides direct evidence of a safety culture.

Source: InBound Logistics


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