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What does OSHA say about forklift safety?

If you operate a forklift at your Minnesota workplace, you should have already received training specific to this type of motor vehicle. In fact, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration acknowledges a number of risks that frequently lead to on-the-job injuries. One major hazard is the tipover.

OSHA provides information about the following risks and safety measures to prevent tipovers.

The way you operate the vehicle has a direct bearing on your safety - and the safety of those around you. For example, if you drive too fast, change directions too quickly or make turns too sharply, the forklift is likely to tip, and you could sustain a serious injury. 

Some situations may be outside your control, such as being assigned to perform your duties in an area with an unsafe incline. You can lessen the danger by driving forward up the ramp with empty forks in the downgrade position and loaded forks in the upgrade position. When you go down the ramp, drive in reverse. Never make a turn while you are on the incline. Stay as far away from the edge of a ramp as you can, and if there are protective guard rails, make sure they are in place so that you are less likely to tip off the side. 

If you do tip, do not try to jump clear of the vehicle. You should be wearing a seat belt already. Grip the steering wheel tightly, brace your feet and lean forward and in the opposite direction of the impact to lessen the potential injuries you may suffer.

This information is provided for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as legal advice.

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