A Source for Workplace Safety News and Notes - from ®

October 21, 2014

Safety Tip: Prevent Common Forklift Accidents

do not ride on forklift
With some 1 million forklifts operating in loading docks, warehouses and worksites across the United States, accidents are bound to happen. Use these tips to avoid lift truck accidents in your workplace:
1. Provide Proper Training, and supervise new or inexperienced drivers. consider eye exams as well as driving assessments.
2. Post Warning Signs and Traffic Markings. Wherever foot traffic and forklifts must co-exist, forklift safety signs are a must. Consider floor tape and heavy-duty floor labels to mark changing floor grades, forklift lanes and to alert pedestrians.
3. Slow Down. OSHA advises drivers to stay at or below 5 miles per hour.

4. Lower the Load. OSHA recommends carrying loads as near to the ground as possible - about 4 inches from the floor.

5. No Operators Under Age 18. That's a Federal law.

6. Slow Down Before Turning. Forklifts are designed to balance heavy loads, so without a load they can be a bit tippy.

7. No Riders on the Forklift. They're not designed for passengers, so riders can easily fall - or distract the driver and indirectly cause an accident.

8. A Forklift is Not a Ladder. Lifting workers on forks to reach items or work at heights is not a good idea.

9. Use the Right Tool.
Lift trucks are available in varied sizes and designs, so choose one that fits your workplace. A full-size forklift operating in narrow aisles is bound to create problems.


  1. Are there really a million forklifts in operation right now? It makes sense when I think about it, but it's still surprising to hear. In any case, it's a good idea to avoid accidents, especially with that many people involved. Slowing down and having training would probably go a long way in preventing accidents.

  2. I really liked your advice to drive the forklift slowly. It seems that some people think that the speed is already so slow that there is no way that they can get in an accident. Much on the contrary, you can get seriously injured on a forklift. Often, this is due to carelessness or recklessness. The last thing that you want to do is get hurt on a forklift. Be safe and take your time.