On the job, you need forklifts. They are vital for moving, raising or lowering large containers or pallets. Forklifts do the work so we don’t have to haul or drag excessively heavy loads. While they are beneficial, forklifts are often dangerous and deadly, which makes forklift safety, essential. 

Dangers of forklifts

In the United States each year, forklifts cause around 100 fatalities and 20,000 serious injuries. Death or injuries may occur from either falls, rollovers, collisions or crushing incidents.

There are numerous types of forklifts differing in load capacities, a center of gravity and other parameters. As such, forklifts may overturn as a result of an unbalanced center of gravity, overloading or traveling across uneven surfaces. Those working in or around a forklift may be in danger from unstable loads. Forklift overturns represent 25% of all forklift-related deaths.

Safety Precautions

To ensure complete safety, there are strict OSHA regulations for forklift training, operation, and maintenance. Here are some mandatory ideals for forklift safety.

·         In non-agricultural industries, all forklift operators must be older than 18 years-old

·         All operators are subjected to theoretical and practical training as well as refresher courses.

·         Forklifts in use must be checked at least once a day while in use. At the end of a shift, the forklift is inspected and all defects reported immediately.

·         While in use, the operator must always use his/her seatbelt

·         When cross aisles or vision is obstructed, operators will use the horn to warn to those around him/her.

Essential links 

OSHA Safety and Health Topic: Powered Industrial Trucks
U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
NIOSH Alert – Preventing Injuries and Deaths of Workers Who Operate or Work Near Forklifts

Medical Director Review
Evaluation of an occupational health intervention program on whole-body vibration in forklift truck drivers: a controlled trial – Hulshof et al. 63 (7): 461 – Occupational and Environmental Medicine



This is business-to-business information intended for EHS (environmental health and safety) professionals and not intended for the final consumer. Companies should check the local regulatory status of any claim according to their individual needs, requirements and intended use.