Using data to manage a fleet of lift trucks pinpoints the safety issues, but keeping the operator comfortable means keeping everyone safe. The statistics alone will tell you the story. There are an estimated 6 million lift trucks/forklifts currently in use worldwide, about 856,000 in the U.S. alone, and according to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) there are 100,000 accidents reported every year resulting in 94,750 injuries and 85 fatalities. Overall, one in every six workplace fatalities are forklift related. Start with Forklift User Training.
When you factor in the statistics from the National Safety Council that state that 70 percent of those 100,000 forklift and industrial accidents per year are operator-induced, it becomes clear quite quickly that safety begins and ends with the operator. When you see a very rough estimate of $135 million of immediate costs associated with forklift accidents, and that’s not even considering insurance, OSHA fines and loss of inventory, those kind of huge costs make operator safety crucial to every warehouse that relies so heavily on lift trucks for daily operations.
Since lift trucks are the lifeblood of material handling operations, with the timely flow of goods so important to profit margins, it’s easily understandable why keeping workers and operators happy and comfortable means keeping the facility safe. A recent study conducted for Toyota Industrial Equipment illustrates the fact that operator comfort is starting to drive forklift purchases. When asked what is the most important safety feature influencing their decision, almost as many purchasers said operator comfort (95 percent) as they did stability (96 percent) and weight distribution and balance (97 percent).
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