Warehouse Products & Equipment
Operator Training

Home » Training » Operator Training Blog » What to do in a forklift-related emergency

What to do in a forklift-related emergency

What to do in a forklift-related emergency

Forklift-related emergencies happen. These trucks are large, heavy, and carry large loads. Sometimes visibility is poor or surface conditions are dangerous or the load is unbalanced.

No matter the causes, forklift accidents happen - rollovers, collisions with pedestrians, dropped loads, and so on. Also, forklift operators may come upon emergency situations as they travel through their facilities. The question this blog post will explore is “what should a forklift operator do in a forklift-related emergency?”

Have an emergency response plan

This is management responsibility - to create an emergency response plan. Panic can take over in an emergency situation. Having an established well-thought-out plan helps reduce panic by defining a course of action. Once you develop a plan, your forklift operators need to be educated about emergency procedures and given opportunities to practice them.

Recommended response to forklift-related emergencies

Each facility’s needs will differ, but here are basic emergency response procedures for forklift operators:

#1 Stop the forklift immediately:

If an operator encounters an emergency situation, the first thing to do is bring the forklift to a complete stop. If carrying a load, make sure to lower it to the ground first.

#2 Assess the situation:

Once the operator has stopped the forklift, they can assess the situation and try to determine the extent of the emergency. If anyone is injured, medical assistance needs to be called right away.

#3 Alert others:

The forklift's horn or other means should be used to alert others in the area of the emergency situation. This can help to prevent further accidents or injuries.

#4 Evacuate the area:

If the emergency situation warrants it, the forklift operator can evacuate the area and move to a safe location.

#5 Secure the truck:

If the operator needs to leave their forklift unattended, they should set the parking brake, turn off the engine, and remove the key.

#6 Report the incident:

The operator will need to report the incident to their supervisor as soon as possible, being sure to provide all relevant details about the emergency and any injuries or damage that occurred.

If an operator is injured in a serious accident, they may not be able to comply with these procedures. If injured, the best course of action may be to call for or otherwise signal for assistance.

Forklift safety and Morrison

Morrison is committed to training forklift operators with comprehensive training that meets OSHA requirements and emphasizes forklift safety.

Learn more about our various industrial equipment operator training programs.