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Goodman Elbassiouni LLP’s Forklift Safety Guide

In a separate edition of Goodman Elbassiouni LLP’s blog this month, we discussed the importance of safety training and diligence in the workplace in order to avoid an injury and an unwanted brush with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). Many of the clients we’ve worked with over the years suffered from an accident in a warehouse setting where proper protocol was not followed. We see so many warehouse accidents that we feel it is our duty to try and advise workers on positive strategies for avoiding injury in the first place. We will always have clients who need help receiving the compensation that they so sorely deserve, and in the mean time, we’d love to see workplace injury statistics improve.

For this entry of the blog, we’d like to go over a few different types of forklift driving jobs and the specific challenges to maintaining a safe environment in the warehouse:

First off, let’s discuss a few different kinds of warehouse vehicles and what their purposes are:

Counter Balance Lift – A counter balance lift is the most common type of forklift. They run on a wide variety of fuels, from electricity and diesel to gas and propane. They are primarily used for loading and unloading trucks. Because they are used for crating heavy materials, and because they are powerful machines, you should always perform a pre-operational inspection of a counter balance lift before you drive it. This means inspecting the vehicle in a superficial sense, by walking around it in a circle, and then inspecting the mechanical parts of the truck to make sure that everything is functioning smoothly and up to code.

Full diligence requires a counter balance lift operator to fill out a form signifying that he or she has completed this check. This document can be extremely useful should an accident occur, because it provides proof that the subject in question was being responsible and exercising good judgment. If you need to hire a WSIB lawyer to defend your case, these types of meticulously filled out documents can come in extremely handy for putting together an affidavit.

Narrow Aisle Reach Truck – Narrow aisle reach trucks are similar to your standard forklift, except they are designed to reach up to extreme heights to retrieve inventory. In a sense they are the giraffes of the forklift world. It is extremely important to always make sure that the objects you are retrieving are well balanced on the narrow aisle reach truck, since if something fell from such a great height it could certainly endanger your fellow co-workers.

Part of the operational check should always involve inspecting the arms of the lift to make sure they aren’t bent or cracked: even if you’re doing your job perfectly, if the instrument you’re utilizing is broken, it could lead to serious problems. Checking that the chain anchor pins are not worn, bent or loose is always a great idea as well as being on the lookout for fluid leaks and certainly making sure you have a seatbelt on to protect yourself.

Whether you have a warehouse related accident at work, or need car accident lawyers in Toronto and the GTA, Goodman Elbassiouni LLP has your back. We hope this guide to forklift safety has been useful to you, check back for more blog posts soon!


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