One of the most efficient ways of preventing forklift accidents is through the use of spotters. Spotters are individuals certified by OSHA to act as an extra pair of eyes for the forklift operator during operations. They usually work very closely with the operators to ensure protection for the operators, pedestrians and prevent damage to the goods.
What Makes A Good Spotter?
Good communicator: They need to familiarize themselves with the work plan before operations begin.They should work with the operator on aspects like work commands to use for more effective and quick communication. Eye contact with the operator all through is also an important aspect for good communication.
Alert And Sober: The Spotter should also be alert and sobber during operations. Therefore they should not engage their phones or get high on alcohol or drugs before the scheduled operations. Avoiding distractions should be a priority as mistakes that lead to accidents sometimes happen in split seconds.
Safety Conscious : The safety of the spotter is also an important factor to consider. The spotter should ensure they wear high visibility clothing to make them easy to spot by other forklift operators. They should also ensure they are not operating very close to the forklift to avoid being injured.
Properly Trained: The work of a spotter is detail oriented and so only a trained spotter certified by OSHA can be trusted to ensure safe operations. It is ideal if the spotters are also well versed in forklift operation so that they know all the intricacies involved in operating a forklift. It will make them more efficient.
Here is Why A Spotter Is Important
Proper Loading Of The Forklift
One of the common causes of forklift accidents is improperly balanced loads. In most cases the imbalanced load will either fall off during transportation causing harm to pedestrians or result in fatal tip overs. Even for experienced forklift operators loads which are not symmetrical can prove to be a great challenge. In such cases spotters play the important role of helping the operator load the forklift properly.
Assist Maneuvering In The warehouse
It is not uncommon to have pedestrians suffer minor injuries or get crushed by forklifts especially in busy warehouses. Such accidents usually happen in blindspot areas where the operator has no way of knowing what/who is on their path. Spotters usually help prevent potential accidents by clearing the path for the operator and guiding them through such areas until everyone is out of danger.
Ensure Proper Lifting And Storage
Since the spotters provide the operators with an extra eye they always prove helpful when it comes to ensuring proper lifting, storage and retrival of goods. For instance they can help the operator maneuver warehouses with low celings to avoid damage to overhead fixtures. During storage they can evaluate the placement of the load on a rack from different angles to ensure the load is stable and free of potential falls that can be fatal to operators. They are also vital during retrival of the load.
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