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  • Writer's pictureCrescent Communications

Operators balance numerous practices to perform work safely

Forklift Safety with Forklift Trainer Chris Harris

OSHA estimates that 35,000 severe injuries and 62,000 non-serious injuries involving forklifts occur annually. Further, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 96 U.S. workers were killed in incidents involving forklifts in 2015.

Forklift safety is paramount when it comes to our People's security and our mission to Do it Right, Safe and Well. Here at Crescent, we take precautions to ensure that our workers feel safe, safe, and safe. Kate Taylor got the chance to speak to Chris Harris, the Operations Lead for Logistics, and Forklift Trainer for Crescent GE to gather tips and insights for forklift safety and how works to keep his team safe.

Kate Taylor: Hi Chris! We know that forklift safety is not only essential but vital to keep our operation safe. Would you mind sharing with me what safety precautions does Crescent take when it comes to forklift safety?

Chris Harris: You are absolutely right! Some forklift safety precautions to avoid injuries is to get to know the basics of a forklift. Whether you have ever worked on a forklift or have a certification from a previous job at Crescent, you still need to go through a class and take a test. We train all people to be aware of their surroundings and to stay diligent. This is to ensure that everyone at Crescent is up to date with the forklift safety, equipment, precautions, environment, etc.

Kate Taylor: That is wonderful to hear! Is once enough to ensure all forklift operators know the safety rules and check-ins needed to be safe on equipment and how to keep other people safe?

Chris Harris: Training and repetition are important. We renew our forklift certifications, review proper procedures daily that includes check-ins. Sometimes this even entails that our workers retake the test.

Kate Taylor: I am glad that we take those precautions, as forklift injuries can be severe and even fatal. Did you mentioned check-ins? What does the daily inspection look like before anyone gets onto a forklift for the day?

Chris Harris: Before anyone operates a forklift for the day, they inspect the equipment to ensure everything is running smoothly. Every person who gets onto a forklift has to complete the flow checklist, where you check the forklift to make sure everything is working, and no one gets hurt once they start to operate one. This means they check the lights, gauges, the horns, the battery, brakes, overhead guards- you are completing a complete inspection. Another critical step is to make sure that the forks of the forklift are working correctly. 

Kate Taylor: Really, why is that?

Chris Harris: The forks are the part of the forklift responsible for lifting and holding cargo. Checking to see whether the forks are bent or worn at the beginning of each shift can help prevent accidents. Make sure that no cracks are present, the positioning latches are in good working condition, and that the carriage teeth are not broken, chipped, or worn. 

Kate Taylor: If the forks were bent or chipped, what could happen?

Chris Harris: Anything that you lift on a forklift, you want to make sure it is secure. You don't want anything to fall- product damages, head injuries- forklifts are powerful equipment. 

Kate Taylor: Driving a forklift plays a significant role here at Crescent, and it seems that the safety in doing so is just as important? Are there any other safety precautions that you teach your new forklift operators that you would like to share?

Chris Harris: Sure! Lastly, we implement a floor marking system. A pedestrian walkway to show where people can walk and a section for the forklifts to avoid collisions, much like driving on the road. Our forklift lanes are forklifts only, and anyone who needs to work within that area must wear a safety vest along with the forklift operator. The safety vest ensures that you can identify people from afar and keep them as well as yourself safe. Here at Crescent, safety is a constant focus.

Kate Taylor: Thank you, Chris! In the course of any given day, a forklift undergoes immense amounts of stress. For this reason, it is critical to inspect a forklift before operation thoroughly.

I am glad to know that you are teaching our forklift operators how to Do it Right, Do it Safe and Do it Well to ensure forklift safety, efficiency, and productivity.

Do you have questions about Forklift Safety? Contact your supervisor, site certified forklift trainer or reach out to Chris Harris for additional information.

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