Are forklifts your Achilles’ Heel during an OSHA inspection?

Recently, there were two articles in the local paper about companies being fined by OSHA, one involved lift equipment.

Let’s face it, forklifts and other material handling equipment can be a hassle.

Operators are not the most careful on the lifts. Unless there is a good safety program in place, the daily operator checklist can be pencil whipped and filed in a drawer with no supervisor oversight.

There are a lot of choices when it comes to monitoring operator’s daily checks and performance of lift equipment.

There are many electronic monitoring units that can go on the lift itself that will not allow an operator to start the forklift until the daily operator checklist is completed. Some of these units tie back into a database of authorized operators and when their training certification expires.

Other monitoring devices can change up the questions on the daily operator checklist along with the answers. Therefore, the operator must read the question and can no longer pencil whip the answers. With the electronic monitors, there is also increased participation from supervisors and managers. Those individuals will receive notification when an operator fails a daily checklist on the lift equipment.

In addition to the electronic daily checklist, some monitors offer impact and weight sensing options. How much damage is caused when a forklift operator slams into a building column? Or worse, you find the damaged lift and the damaged building column but no one knows what happened.

Impact damage along with damage from lifting loads that are over the capacity of the forklift can now be monitored and eliminated.

There are a lot of choices out there, each with their own advantages. Make sure you do your homework. Whether you go with an electronic monitoring system or use the paper checklist – make sure that they are being used so that you are not the next one facing an OSHA fine.

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