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Safety Tips | The Importance of Forklift Training

The importance of forklift training blog header

Safety Tips | The Importance of Forklift Training

The Forklift is an incredibly useful piece of equipment, used throughout many industries to enhance productivity, speed up processes and protect the health and safety of employees. But they can also be extremely dangerous, with thousands of forklift accidents every year resulting in sometimes serious injuries, and usually caused by improper and unsafe operation or lack of training for the operatives.

Forklift driving takes a lot more than just lifting and moving materials – Forklift operators should have an understanding of safety & proper use, to keep materials, themselves, and others safe.

The most common causes of fatal forklift accidents include:

  • The forklift tipping over and crushing the operator: 42%
  • Crush injury between the forklift and a surface besides the ground: 25%
  • Crush injury between 2 forklifts: 11%
  • Being struck or run over by a forklift: 10%
  • Struck by falling material being carried by a forklift: 8%
  • Falling from a forklift platform: 4%

Industry statistics in the United States cite a 90% probability of a forklift being involved in a serious injury or fatality accident over its useful lifetime. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration estimates that forklifts account for 61,800 minor injuries, 34,900 serious injuries, and 85 forklift-related deaths every year. While these are United States statistics, industries here in Canada use forklifts in comparable numbers to the USA, so we can assume it’s just as much of a risk factor here.

What factors of your work environment contribute to forklift incidents?

The CCOHS sites the following 6 factors as the largest causes for forklift incidents within the workplace.

  • Production factors such as speed or stress.
  • Lack of proper tools, attachments and accessories.
  • Improper assignment of forklifts and operators.
  • Poor maintenance of forklifts.
  • Age of forklifts.
  • Lack of training or improper training of workers who have to operate forklift trucks.

Training Requirements

Before any employee takes control of a forklift, ensure they’re trained in accordance with CCOHS requirements. If you are an employer or manager with employees who operate material handling equipment, you must under the law provide adequate training and a safe environment for your forklift drivers.

  • Employers must have a training program that incorporates general principles of safe operation, the types of vehicle(s) used, any hazards created by using forklifts and powered industrial trucks, and CCOHS general safety requirements.
  • Trained forklift operators must know how to do the job safely, as demonstrated in a workplace evaluation.
  • Employers must provide formal and practical training. This may include using some combination of lecture, video, software training, written material, demonstrations, and practical exercise.
  • Employers must certify that operators have received all necessary training and evaluate each operator at least once every three years.
  • Employers must evaluate the operator’s performance and deem the employee competent to operate a powered industrial truck prior to operating the truck.

If your employees are in need of forklift training, the Hercules Training Academy has you covered! You come to us, we come to you, or we can connect online.

Hercules Training Academy: Forklift Safety (Narrow or Counterbalance)

Our forklift training course provides students with the fundamental knowledge and practical skills of operating lift trucks (narrow aisle or counterbalance). Our training experts will meet and exceed your local regulations and industry standards.

The program is a 1-day course that uses a combination of theory and practical training. Students are evaluated by means of a written test and a practical evaluation on the equipment. Upon successful completion of the program, a certificate will be issued.

Content Covered
  • Hazard assessments
  • Regulations
  • Pre-use inspections
  • Equipment stability
  • Operating principles
  • Refueling
  • Battery care

Forklift Driving | Safety Tips

Meet Professor Leo, he is Hercules SLR’s very own ‘top tips’ guy. Today Leo has 8 tips to make sure you stay safe when operating a forklift! Once you have a proper training course under your belt to act as your foundation, these are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you’re staying safe – Feel free to download and share!

Prof Leo Forklift Safety 1


Prof Leo Forklift Safety 2

Prof Leo Forklift Safety 3

Prof Leo Forklift Safety 4

Prof Leo Forklift Safety 5

Prof Leo Forklift Safety 6

Prof Leo Forklift Safety 7

Prof Leo Forklift Safety 8