Forklift Checklists
01 Aug 2016
Delta Materials

How to Create a Forklift Safety Culture By Establishing Benchmarks: Part 3

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:


While there is nothing new about the importance of benchmarking progress against goals, forklift fleet and operator management technologies do bring new opportunity to this simple practice in the form of evaluation metrics that can be customized by organization and individual. This also enables consistency across shifts or even multiple facilities. Safe forklift operation isn’t something that can be practiced once and then neglected. The only way managers can effectively help operators change behavior is by demonstrating and recognizing safe performance on a daily basis.

The presence of the technology on the forklift – as well as clearly articulated benchmarks – supports a safety culture that stands to improve overall performance and productivity. The technology also provides the needed data to have meaningful continuous improvement and training discussions with operators.

As logistics executives and warehouse general managers evaluate the safety goals of their facilities, it is important to consider how new forklift-based technologies can make a positive impact. Collaborate with forklift manufacturers to gain a clear vision for how the ideal facility will operate and how the forklifts will align with this plan. Each operation is unique, and the only way to truly develop the best solution for changing behavior is to gather actual performance data to inform relevant discussions and future decisions.

Source: InBound Logistics


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