If you work in a warehouse setting, you can expect to see forklifts in motion all day long. And depending on your profession, you may even be responsible for operating this piece of machinery.

There is no denying the benefits of forklifts on the job site, but they’re also extremely dangerous. And that’s why you need to take safety precautions at all times. Here are some tips to guide you:

  • Inspect your forklift before use: Before using a forklift, inspect it for damage or defects. For example, if there’s a part missing that’s essential to safe operation, make note of it and report it to your supervisor.
  • Don’t exceed the maximum load: On your search to save time, you may decide to pick up a load that’s too heavy for the forklift. This is a mistake, as it increases the risk of tipping over or dropping the load.
  • Follow pre-marked roadways: In a warehouse setting, forklifts should always follow designated roadways. Operators shouldn’t move off the intended path unless they have a good reason for doing so, and also alert others.
  • Carefully park forklifts when not in use: For example, once you’re finished with a forklift, turn it off and carefully park it in a safe place. Furthermore, remove the keys, as this prevents someone else from using it.
  • Check before backing up: Many forklift accidents occur when a driver backs up without looking, thus striking someone or something behind them. Even if there isn’t supposed to be anyone behind you, mistakes can and do happen. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so glance over your shoulder before moving in reverse.

Even if you follow these forklift safety tips, among others, you could still suffer an injury in an accident. For example, you could fall off a forklift or the vehicle could tip when making a turn.

If you’re injured in a forklift accident at your place of employment, report the incident, receive medical care and learn more about the cause. Your health is top priority, but as time allows you’ll want to focus on your legal rights, such as the ability to obtain workers’ compensation benefits.