Forklifts, also known as Powered Industrial Trucks (PIT’s), are used in many industries, and are a common piece of equipment used by companies of all sizes. According to OSHA’s Standard covering the safe use of PIT’s, only trained and authorized, licensed drivers are permitted to operate a PIT. Understanding how to operate a powered industrial truck safely can help to avoid injuries, fatalities and property damage. According to OSHA, the most common cause of fatalities while operating a forklift involve tip-overs, where the operator is crushed. This accounts for 85 fatalities and 34,900 serious injuries annually.

Discussion Points:
• Only trained and licensed drivers are permitted to operate a powered industrial truck.
• Most common cause of fatalities involves forklift tip-overs.
• Understanding technical aspects of forklift operation.
• Best practices to avoid forklift related injuries and fatalities.
• Powered Industrial Truck Regulation; 29 CFR 1910.178

Discussion:
Understanding technical aspects of forklift operation including; center of gravity, load center, and stability are important when operating a forklift. Best practices to avoid forklift related injuries and fatalities include; always wear your seat belt, never jump from a forklift, keep hands and feet inside of the cab, do not raise or lower forks while forklift is moving, travel with forks close to the ground, use caution on ramps and grades, never allow passengers, stop for pedestrians, travel at slow speeds, use only approved attachments, and complete pre-operational inspections and report any damage to a supervisor.

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As always, be safe out there!