Think forklift certification is for safety geeks, overzealous managers and OSHA enforcers? Think again.

The fact is, forklift certification saves lives.

How many lives? Well, did you know that in addition to the 800+ people injured in forklift related accidents each year, about 100 people die annually from injuries related to forklifts?

Just look at some of these REAL headlines involving forklifts:

  • From North Carolina… “Press Operator Dies After Forklift Rams Scrap Bin”
  • From South Carolina… “Order Selector Dies After Jumping 16 Feet From an Elevated Pallet on an Overturning Forklift”
  • From Arizona… “Warehouse Laborer Dies After the Forklift He Was Operating Tips Over and Crushes Him”
  • From New York… “Laborer at Lumber Operation Crushed by Tipped Over Forklift”
  • From Ohio… ”Worker at Building Supply Center Crushed by Forklift”

These are actual headlines, not made up scenarios. This stuff is happening in warehouses, lumber yards, docks, shipyards and supplier facilities on a regular basis. Safety is something too many people, especially inexperienced young people do not take seriously.

That’s too bad, when the facts are clear… following proper forklift safety procedures saves lives. Forklift training and certification saves lives.

Next time you curse the folks at OSHA for citing or fining your organization, take a close look at the safety of your crew and their work environment. What kind of refresher courses are being offered at your workplace? How much attention is being paid to safety at your job site.

Next time to curse out your boss for giving you a warning or verbal reprimand over a forklift maneuver you pull, think about those headlines. Think long and hard when you see other operators acting inappropriately as well. Be honest with yourself about how you regard safety right now. When you see blatant safety violations, do you look the other way? Or do you take the time to talk with the operator or other workers involved.

There is no room for horseplay or games when it comes to forklifts. These are heavy industrial machines that are meant for work, not for play. Treat them with respect by properly inspecting them before each use, and using them with caution and restraint. Stay up to date on your forklift safely classes, certification and re-certification.

When you take forklift certification seriously, the life you save could be your own. Don’t become a statistic or worse, an accident headline.

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