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Don’t be a hypocrite!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Everybody knows someone that says one thing and then does another. How many of us tell our kids to do certain things in order to be safe, and then show them quite another side when we don’t think they are watching! I know that telling my young son to wear his seatbelt or motorcycle helmet is almost worthless without me buckling up or putting on my helmet as an example to him.

How many times does a forklift trainer tell his operators to wear their seatbelts and then they see him leaving the parking lot not wearing his seat belt in the car? How many times does a dealership lecture a customer about safe forklift operations and then allow their own uncertified forklift mechanics to enter the customer’s facility not wearing belts or fall protection? When was the last time you took the time to see what was really happening at your site with regard to forklift safety? I see a lot of nice lobbies with pretty safety awards and commitments about safety from the President, CEO, etc. but what value does that hold if beyond the front office everything falls apart? Most of the accidents I have seen did not involve a lack of knowledge, they involved a lack of commitment on the part of a company to enforce their published safety rules. If you knew you could drive well above the posted speed limit and never be ticketed, would you continue to obey the law?

In the US there are approximately 85 forklift related deaths, which is more than tornados or hurricanes kill in average years. There are approximately 96,000 injures each year related to forklifts, which is enough people to fill a major sports stadium! If we want to really attack this problem, we need to stop putting band aides on the problems and deal with the root issues.

1) Take a look at your location and determine its present level of forklift safety.
2) Develop rules and regulations that are brief and reasonable.
3) Enforce these rules without exception.
4) Watch your incidents drop dramatically.

Written by Brian Colburn of Forklift Training Systems, a leading provider of forklift safety training and materials. Forklift Training Systems can be contacted at 614-583-5749 or at Visit them on the web at

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