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Avoiding Expensive Repairs and Accidents: The Benefits of Forklift Operator Training

If you’ve been on any job site or warehouse, you know the real workhorse is the forklift. It handles product transport, keeping the operations moving like clockwork. That is, of course, assuming the forklift drivers have had the operator training needed. 

What happens if they haven’t been properly trained to use the forklift? What happens if they were put in the forklift and it was assumed they could work it out by trial and error?

You probably already know the answer if your forklift drivers don’t have forklift operator training. This is heavy specialized equipment and without the proper training, it’s an accident waiting to happen. Your warehouse or job site is ripe for an unfortunate incident. Your forklift also takes a beating because the operator isn’t skilled

On top of the risks, you’re non-OSHA compliant which can lead to fines and removal from job sites. 

Read on to learn about the many benefits of getting your forklift operators OSHA certified. Forklift operator training will keep your employees and equipment safe and lead to greater productivity.

Increased Worker Safety

One of the biggest benefits of forklift operator training is the safety it provides for workers. Forklifts can be dangerous if you don’t know how to properly operate them.

Operators need to understand how the center of gravity works. They don’t want to pick up a load that is not properly loaded on a pallet. If they carry a load that isn’t secured it can lead to accidents. Forklifts can tip if the load isn’t loaded evenly and then lifted too high.

The list of possible things that can go wrong if an operator doesn’t know what they are doing is long. While it’s not desirable, the equipment can be replaced. Human life cannot. You don’t want to be the boss who has a terrible accident, injury or death because the operator was knowledgeable enough about operating the equipment.

Return on Investment

Forklift operator training offers a great return on investment in a few ways. 

When you have a knowledgeable team operating your equipment, they run it with more efficiency. Efficiency means saving money. So, sure you pay for workers to be trained, you get that back over and over again when your job site or warehouse runs with great efficiency.

You also get a return on investment when your workers are using the machinery correctly. You don’t have damaged machines. They aren’t bending forks or the backrest by carrying loads wrong. They aren’t bending forks when they run into things because they’ve used the wrong forks. 

When you invest in the training needed for your workers, you get the return from their efficiency and the equipment holding up better because of better use practices.

Lower Maintenance Costs

In materials handling and operations the forklift is a workhorse. You rely on it to run your warehouse and keep things moving along efficiently. When the forklift breaks down, especially if you only have one or a few, it can be devastating.

When forklift operators are trained, they know how to use the equipment in the correct way. Running the equipment wrong, or using the wrong forks, or carrying a load wrong can all lead to damage and breakdowns of the forklift. 

But when your operators are OSHA certified and trained they know how to use the equipment properly and in turn cause less mishaps, breakdowns, or damage to the equipment.

An operator who isn’t trained is not only a liability to themselves and other workers, they can cause damage to the forklift. They can also cause damage to the workplace. For example, someone who doesn’t understand a turning radius can crash into wracks in the warehouse or hit walls or doorways causing further damage. 

Reduced Insurance Premiums

There isn’t any business leader anywhere not looking to reduce costs. You might be surprised to learn how forklift operator training can actually reduce your insurance premiums. 

When you go to get insurance, you can show your insurance carrier that your operators are OSHA certified. Often they will provide a discount because of the certification.

You also have fewer accidents and injuries. You are required to carry worker’s compensation insurance for your workers. You don’t want to be the workplace that is riddled with accidents and therefore claims on that insurance. The fewer claims you need to make, the more likely you get better rates. 

Greater Productivity

Greater productivity from forklift operator training might seem obvious. But this is a huge benefit to spending the money to get your employees trained correctly. 

First, when you don’t have equipment getting broken, damaged, and shut down, you can run it more and there is a higher level of productivity. Nothing stops productivity like an idle forklift. Workers are standing around and your warehouse or job site comes to a standstill. 

The other more subtle way productivity increases are through the manner in which the operator uses the forklift. They know better how to load a pallet. They are more knowledgeable about how to carry a load and move with it. This will increase productivity. Over the course, of a day or week, that can be huge for your bottom line.

OSHA Compliance

Let’s face it, it’s the law. OSHA or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the federal government expects you to run a safe work environment. 

OSHA has established rules and regulations related to the operation of forklifts. They expect you to comply with those rules and regulations. 

When you send your employees into forklift operator training, they become OSHA certified. 

If you have an accident or injury and OSHA visits your job site or warehouse and finds you are not OSHA compliant they are going to act swiftly. You can expect steep fines. You can also be potentially shut down until you have met compliance. 

Creating an OSHA compliant workplace is not only desirable, but you should instead look at it as a mandatory consideration.

Employer Liability

As an employer, you have a responsibility to run a safe work environment. You must create standards and practices that not only adhere to OSHA standards, but also create a norm of safety. 

You are ultimately liable for worker safety. When you train your workers to use the forklifts properly, you reduce the risk of a workplace accident or injury from occurring. You also lower your liability if something does go wrong because you can show you have done the right thing and had your workers trained. 

Reduced Stress for Workers

Nobody wants to come to work in a place that is perceived as not safe. No worker wants to feel like they are in danger when they come to work. It’s stressful and unhealthy. 

When workers feel stress and anxiety, the chances of an accident happening increase. By getting the correct training, workers feel safer. They know the correct way to run the equipment and they know they are in a safe environment. 

Workers also feel more confident in each other when they know there are standards for how the job gets done. 

Also, they also understand the level of competence that is expected when they see their employer sending them to get trained. 

Worker safety is key and it helps to reduce the stress levels of all involved. They also become more invested in the business and the overall success of the operations.

Money Savings Over Time

There are a number of ways forklift operator training creates financial savings for your business. 

First, when forklift operators are trained they use the equipment correctly. This means there is less damage to the equipment and means you aren’t spending money on unnecessary repairs. 

When operators are trained correctly, they also know how to use the equipment in the most efficient manner possible. This makes your warehouse or job site work more efficiently. Efficiency always means cost savings. 

Finally, when you have trained operators, your risk of accidents goes down which means fewer workplace injuries you are financially burdened with. 

You also don’t have to worry about being out of compliance with OSHA standards, getting fines or being shut down because of a workplace safety issue. 

Get Your Employees Forklift Operator Training

For many reasons, getting your employees’ forklift operator training is smart, cost-effective, and increases the productivity and safety of your workplace. You don’t want to be the boss who is responsible for knowing a terrible accident causing injury or death has happened on your watch. 

You also want your business to run with the utmost efficiency and getting your workers trained helps to make that happen. 

Contact us today or give us a call at 866-393-9833 for more information about forklift operator training. We can get you started right away.

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