Article

Creating a Culture of Safety

Material Handling Best Practices, Tips, Information and More from Toyota

Keeping associates safe while working around forklifts goes beyond simply following required safety precautions. Creating a culture of safety in your facility means that operators, pedestrians, and others who work near forklifts are committed to keeping each other safe and productive. As a manager of a facility where forklifts are in use, there are several steps that you can take to create a culture of safety.

TRAINING

forklift safety, toyotaHaving open and honest communication about expectations and procedures in your facility is of utmost importance in creating a culture of safety. Taking the time to train associates on facility practices is an excellent return on investment. When operators and other employees are safe and healthy, productivity stays high and profits climb. Keep these key points in mind about training your operators and employees:

  • Remember, training certification for your facility is NOT a stand-in for licensing. Operators must complete all licensing requirements before using a forklift.

  • Employers have the responsibility to train their employees on all equipment they will operate on the job. Employees who have not been trained to use a particular piece of equipment should not use it.

  • While many employers decide to offer training in-house, external trainers may also be used to educate your employees. Your local Toyota dealer can offer more information about operator training.


SPEED

The speed of your forklifts should be responsive to the payloads being transported, corners and aisles in your facility, blind spots, and facility use (i.e. how many pedestrians are in the area). Assessing your needs is the first step in ensuring safe forklift speeds. Be sure that operators are aware of speed regulations for the various necessary tasks in your facility. Specific Toyota forklifts include operator PIN access controls that also allow managers to customize speed settings. Consider adding other warehouse speed controls such as speed bumps and limit signs.

CELL PHONES

No doubt many employees carry cell phones on the job. It’s important when creating a culture of safety that operators and pedestrians are aware of the serious dangers presented by cell phone distractions. Remember, a forklift can weigh as much as five cars. Walking in front of a moving forklift because you’re staring at your cell phone will very likely result in injury or death. Hitting a pedestrian as an operator who is looking at their cell phone can have equally devastating consequences.

In training, be sure to clearly outline a policy of no cell phone use in the operating area of forklifts. Post signage that reminds operators and pedestrians of this policy to help reinforce your culture of safety.

SEATBELTS AND SAFETY EQUIPMENT

Visible vests, safety boots, and other applicable personal protective equipment (PPE) are important pieces of equipment that should be worn by operators at all times. Always remember that operating a forklift without a seatbelt is not an option. In an effort to help support your culture of safety, Toyota offers orange seatbelts that can increase visibility and allow others in the facility to hold operators accountable for seatbelt usage.

Safety comes standard at Toyota. To learn more about our forklifts safety features and training, contact your local Toyota dealer.

For pricing, parts & more, click here to find a dealer near you.

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