By Keith Trumbull
For some, managing the safe use of pallet jacks, forklifts and other items is as daunting as the zombie apocalypse, but material handling equipment doesn’t have to be scary. The tips below outline the features of a material handling equipment plan and why it’s smart to have a program in place.
According to the US Department of Labor, from October 1, 2014 through August 29, 2015 there have been more than 55 fatalities related to the operation of forklifts, manlifts or scissor lifts. One death is too many and a properly developed and implemented safety plan will go a long way to reducing injuries, including fatalities, related to the operation of your equipment.
A well-constructed plan should include guidelines and standards that outline safe practices in inspection, maintenance and operation of your equipment to help protect the health and safety of your employees.
Basic elements of a good plan should include:
- A purpose and scope that accounts for regular, non-employee contractors working within your facilities, in addition to company employees
- A comprehensive list of responsibilities for all parties, including managers, supervisors and departmental employees as well as equipment operators; an accountable owner of the plan should also be named
- Rules for safe operation of the equipment in your facility including specific instructions for travel rules, loading and stacking, inspection requirements and maintenance policies. These should be tailored to your business to ensure they’re appropriate
- Both formal classroom instruction as well as practical application instruction for operator training; Operator training certification and refresher requirements should be outlined
- Operator training on specific topics related to the work environment, such as pedestrian traffic, load movement and stacking, surface conditions, ramps and other unique conditions that must be considered for safe operations
How do you keep material handling equipment from being frightening? Leave a comment or send us a tweet, @ElementFleet