Despite the best preparation and training, forklift accidents can happen, so it is important for all forklift operators as well as people who work around forklifts to be prepared for such accidents by taking first aid training courses. With a bit of preparation, however, the forklift operator can help reduce or eliminate the likelihood of forklift accidents. First and foremost, the operator will need to be trained how to operate the lift safely by taking courses and getting all the necessary certifications. He or she should then be sure to read any manuals or reading materials for the specific forklift being operated.
Forklift models can vary in function and size, so the safety prevention techniques one employs can vary accordingly as well. A telehandler forklift, for example, can tip over if not operated within the weight restrictions of the lift. Forklift accidents can happen with this style of forklift if too much weight is lifted beyond the telehandler's capabilities, and since the telehandler can lift pallets or objects forward as well as up, the machine has a greater chance of tipping over. The driver will need to review the included charts that will help him or her calculate how heavy of a load can be lifted, and how far. Some forklift accidents can be avoided by paying attention to alarms or indicators that let the driver know when a load is being lifted past the machine's capabilities.
Forklift accidents are likely to occur in warehouses or factories with tight, narrow aisles. Many lifts used for such purposes are equipped with horns or other warning systems that allow the driver to indicate he or she is about to come around a corner; the driver needs to use the horn or other indicator regularly to ensure bystanders are aware of the lift's presence. The driver needs to drive slowly and carefully around corners, and if applicable, a flashing light should be used to get the attention of bystanders when the environment is too loud for sirens or horns.
People should never be raised on the forks of a forklift without the proper equipment. A man basket is a piece of equipment designed to help avoid forklift accidents due to people riding on the forks; the basket provides an enclosure for the person riding on the lift. The person riding can attach him or herself to the basket using a harness and other hardware. The man basket needs to be attached properly and all safety techniques must be adhered to while a person is riding in the man basket.