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CCC: Training and Development: Environmental Health and Safety
It's a machine that can be found at many businesses, and they claim nearly 100 lives in this country every year.
But forklift deaths are largely preventable according to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).
Central Community College trainer Russell Moore says driving a forklift is not at all like driving a car, except you should always wear your seatbelt when operating both.
"Forklifts have very little suspension, so any bumps, any jars, especially a big bump will bounce you right out of the seat," says Moore. "It's hard to control a vehicle if you're not seated in the vehicle."
According to Moore many forklift-related accidents happen to people who are nearby, so operators need to be aware of their surroundings. He says because forklifts are designed to shift loads, it's easy for an accident to happen.
"As you lift your load, a forklift is also very top heavy, if you raise your load higher, it has more weight above your center of stability, so you're more prone to tipping side to side," say Moore.
NIOSH says those overturns are the leading cause of forklift fatalities. But Moore says safety certification classes like those at CCC and internal safety training at businesses are making a big difference.
"Safety is huge - the forklifts may not seem like they're real big, but they can do a lot of damage - a forklift weighs more than your car," he says.
Moore says CCC offers safety training on an as needed basis, so anyone interested in learning more should contact the college.