The Enemy to Forklift Truck Inspections

You may have seen our recent communication on the importance of forklift truck inspections in recognition of National Forklift Safety Day.

There are many 'enemies' of the forklift truck inspection, the most common of which we've put together in a short whitepaper - as well as some thoughts on how to overcome those.

Priority

Inspecting equipment - and sometimes safety in general - isn’t always seen as a priority.

In any business, productivity is almost always at the forefront of our minds as we must complete the job for our customers. Equally, the backbone of productivity for so many businesses is the Forklift Truck - and we don’t always think about those pre-shift OSHA required inspections until it stops working.

Overall, SG World USA customers tell us the solution for this is one of mindfulness. Here are some ways they make forklift inspections a priority:

  • Make it important to supervisors
  • Spot check inspections
  • Reward people for doing inspections upon random checks
  • Avoid calling people out for not doing it the first time(s), instead support them.

Time

A common reason why inspections don’t get done is the time it takes operators to complete their inspection and the time it takes supervisors to check if they’ve been done. There are two major problems with this:

  • The process
  • The method

The process itself commands some of your time. Setting time aside to think about how you can make it easy for your operators to perform inspections is essential. Not forgetting about making it easy for busy supervisors to be on top of it. 

Once you have defined a streamlined process, it's time to consider the method used to capture the inspection. We urge our customers to ask themselves these questions:

  • Is the checklist itself an extension of what’s been trained?
  • Is it helpful by guiding the operator through the inspection in the order they carry it out?
  • Is it easy to hold the checklist while checking the lift truck?
  • Is the material of the method used robust enough for the elements?
  • How easy is it for a supervisor to check the inspection has been done?

 Overall, you can give the gift of time by making it easy for both operator and supervisor to do and mange pre-shift inspections

Visibility

Having shaped your process to make it easy and aligned with the priorities of the business, you still need to prompt the behavior in the first place! In other words, how do you get the operator to do the inspection every time?

Calling people out for not doing things isn’t a great idea - it can diminish culture and disengage workers, which arguably reduces productivity. Really, we want our operators to make the choice for themselves. How is that achieved? Make them accountable thought making it visible!

Picture the scene - a supervisor walks a shop floor (or job site) and without breaking their stride they can see if a worker isn’t wearing the correct PPE. In that situation what do they do? They remind them to wear it. All the while, they walk by potentially dangerous Forklifts without knowing if they are safe because they can’t see if it's been inspected.

They key is to make the inspection as visible as the PPE. This makes the operator accountable for doing their inspection every day and increases the chance of them doing it without being told to.

There are in fact many benefits in making safety visible. The largest one is around demonstrating the organizations commitment to safety, communicating expectation, and of course building a strong culture with safety at its core.

 

Don’t forget to check out our last article onWhy You Shouldn't Skip Your Forklift Inspections’ and look out for SG World USA’s next communication on how to meet the standards and achieve the above.

If you’d like a sneak peek at a patented game changing solution to all your forklift truck inspection challenges, click here

 

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