SAFETY SOLUTIONS: Material Handling Programs
In many shops today and throughout the United States material handling equipment plays an important role in moving your product into and out of your factory. Federal OSHA initiated a new program in 1999 requiring employers who use industrial powered trucks to institute a formal training program for operators. For employers who have not developed a formal program OSHA has built one for you. This program can be downloaded in power point presentation from www.osha.gov.
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) defines a powered industrial truck as a mobile, power-propelled truck used to carry, push, pull, lift, stack, or tier materials. Powered industrial trucks are also commonly known as forklifts, pallet trucks, rider trucks, fork trucks, or lift trucks.
Each year, tens of thousands of forklift-related injuries occur in U.S. workplaces. Injuries usually involve employees being struck by lift trucks or falling while standing or working from elevated pallets and tines. Many employees are injured when lift trucks are inadvertently driven off loading docks or when the lift falls between a dock and an un-chocked trailer. Most incidents also involve property damage, including damage to overhead sprinklers, racking, pipes, walls, machinery, and other equipment. Unfortunately, a majority of employee injuries and property damage can be attributed to lack of procedures, insufficient or inadequate training, and lack of safety-rule enforcement.
Knowing how to properly operate a powered industrial truck involves more than just adjusting controls and maneuvering. As with any motor vehicle, the driver must be aware of the capabilities and limitations of the machine in order to safely accomplish the task.
Management, of course, plays an important role in making sure powered industrial trucks are operated properly. In addition to a thorough hands-on training program, other steps can be taken to encourage a safe working environment:
- Ensure continuity of first-line supervisor's instructions.
- Training should take place in actual work areas.
- Regulate traffic patterns.
- Enforce re-training or refresher courses.
- Develop a written safety plan.
By taking the time to combine training and safety, the potential hazards associated with the use of powered industrial trucks can be reduced. Employers and employees both share the responsibility for keeping a workplace safe.
Effective safety programs are important to your bottom line. This basic training program should help you decide if your program is effectively administered and if you do not have a program we can help you to develop an effective program.
SAMPLE POWERED INDUSTRIAL TRUCK (PIT)
OPERATOR TRAINING PROGRAM OUTLINE
Inspecting the vehicle
- Overview of the program
- Goal of the program: to provide a training program based on the trainee's prior knowledge, the types of vehicles used in the workplace, and the hazards of the workplace.
- Course will utilize video, group discussion and hands-on practice. Each operator must obtain the knowledge and skills needed to do their job correctly and safely.
- Types, Features, and Physics
- Familiarize each operator with the basic types and functions of powered industrial trucks.
- Develop an understanding of the information shown on a data plate.
- Understand the critical truck measurements that affect safety.
- Understand the forces that cause tipovers, and the truck design considerations and safety ratings that help prevent them, including the "stability triangle."
Understand the purpose and importance of pre-operational checkouts.
Provide a basic understanding of areas covered during a pre-operational checkout.
Familiarize each operator with a checklist for pre-operational checkouts, and what to do if a problem is discovered.
Driving the Truck
Understand the elements of safe movement of a powered industrial truck.
Understand the differences between an automobile and a powered industrial truck.
Recognize the safety hazards associated with operating a powered industrial.
Understand the elements of load lifting safety.
Understand the safe operating procedures for raising and lowering loads in aisles.
LPG (Liquid Petroleum Gas) for Lift Trucks
Discuss LPG and its properties.
Understand the elements and procedures of safely refueling internal combustion vehicles.
Describe tank components: service valve, surge valve, relief valve, etc.
Discuss related safety issues.
Battery and Charging
Understand the elements and procedures of safely changing and charging batteries.
Discuss filling procedures and maintenance.
Discuss related safety issues.
Review/reinforce potential of serious injury.
Review/reinforce safety procedures in your facility.
Specific Truck and Workplace Training/Hands-On
Review features of specific PIT's to be operated.
Review operating procedures of specific PIT's to be operated.
Review safety concerns of specific PIT's to be operated.
Review workplace conditions and safety concerns of areas where PIT's will be operated.
Learn/practice actual operation of specific PIT's to be operated and specific workplace conditions where PIT's will be operated.
Demonstrate proficiency performing the powered industrial truck operator duties specific to the trainee's position and workplace conditions.
Certification of Completion of the Course
If you have any questions regarding the above, give us a call or send an e-mail. And don't forget to stop by Booth E 5215 if you are attending the AWFS® Woodworking Fair® August 2-5 in Anaheim, CA.
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