Forklift Driver Safety Tips for Warehousing and Distribution

Forklift drivers make up a large portion of a warehouse's labor force. Their safety and efficiency determine how productive the distribution center is as a whole. At Overflo, we take extra precautions to ensure that our forklift drivers are safe and that they have the safety of others in mind. Here is a look at some driver safety tips for warehouse forklift operators that we use in our distribution center.

Maintain a Low Stress Environment

With any work environment, stress makes people forget what they're supposed to be doing. Workers get frazzled when they feel overwhelmed and they forget basic elements of their jobs. Warehousing is naturally a stressful environment, but it can be even more stressful if the production expectations are set too high. If the distribution center is short staffed or improperly managed, that can also increase stress levels.

We strive to keep our workplace as stress free as possible. We set realistic goals for our workers that maintain high productivity levels without sacrificing safety or precision. In other words, we make sure our workers are motivated but not necessarily in a panic on the job. With stress levels at a minimum, forklift operators can focus on the task at hand.

Maximize Visibility for Forklift Drivers

Visibility works two ways: drivers should be able to see other people around them, and other people should be aware of the forklift operator. Lighting, mirrors, alarms, and camera systems can increase the visibility for forklift drivers. The building should be well lit, and the forklifts themselves should have lights in place to help drivers see where they are going. Ask your drivers if there are any areas of visibility that can be improved upon, and find effective solutions for those issues.

Reduce Distractions at Work

Forklift drivers should not have their phones on them while on the job. If they need to communicate with other people in the plant, they can use the walky-talky system or radio. Cell phones should be reserved for breaks and time off work, not during the job. Eating is another distraction that reduces forklift driver safety, so make sure your workers are not eating while they work. If you are going to let your workers listen to music, only allow them to keep one headphone in. this will let them hear with their other ear if something comes up.

Clear the Aisles of Clutter

Cluttered aisles are difficult to get around, which could jeopardize the safety of drivers. Clear these areas so the forklifts can easily move throughout the warehouse. Pay close attention to corners that are already difficult to maneuver around. These should be clear at all times. If you cannot find a place for certain merchandise to go, it may be time to reorganize that area of the warehouse.

Conduct Annual Vision Tests

Conducting annual vision tests will ensure that your drivers can see properly on the job. A person's vision can change drastically in the course of a year, even if he or she has always had good vision. Sometimes the changes are subtle, so a driver may not notice a loss of vision right away. If you keep an eye on that on your end, you can make sure that everyone has the proper eye gear to keep themselves safe on the job.

For more information about warehousing, Contact Overflo at 1-800-626-0616

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