Forklift truck operators are constantly jumping in and out of their forklifts throughout the day, making it very easy for them to forget to fasten the vehicle’s seat belt every time. Of course seat belts are hugely important when it comes to vehicle safety, and obviously this applies to multiple types of vehicle.
When it comes to forklifts, the seat belt can be especially effective during a tip over accident, one of the most common accidents involving forklifts. A fastened seat belt in a forklift will keep the operator secured in the seat and prevent them from using the instinctual reaction to jump away from it as it tips. As the operator often simply won’t have time to get away from the forklift as it tips, a secured seat belt could easily help avoid serious injury and often save a life.
Consequences of forklift operators neglecting their seat belts
A lot of forklift operators simply forget or don’t realise the power of the truck they’re driving, and how dangerous they can be should an accident occur.
Smaller companies sometimes do not fully enforce the use of seat belts, and with many forklift trucks weighing in at an average of 9000 pounds, no operator can possibly compete with the weight in the event of a tip over.
During a tip over accident, operators who aren’t wearing a seat belt will fall from the forklift or attempt to jump from it, which can result in them getting caught underneath it. The sheer weight of the forklift can be enough to splinter a limb at best or at worst, fatally crush the operator.
It’s true that the risk of industrial accidents can never be completely eliminated but by simply taking a couple of seconds to remember the importance of a seat belt, injury and death from accidents like tip overs can be avoided.
Also a lack of seat belt enforcement in the workplace could lead to thousands of pounds worth of fines.
Some tips for staying safe in the event of a forklift tip over
- Make sure to secure the seat belt and adjust it when required, every time you enter the forklift.
- Plant yourself into the seat by bracing your feet firmly onto the floor of the forklift, and pushing hard against the steering wheel.
- Lean forward with both hands on the wheel and use it to support your upper body.
- Makes sure that you’re leaning away from the point of impact – lean right of the truck is tipping left.