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Forklift Safety: Safety Is a Choice in Life
We literally face hundreds or even thousands of different choices every day of our lives. Just as in industry, if someone chooses not to do things the safe way, there may not be someone there to require them to do it correctly.
By David Hoover
Date Posted: 12/1/2007
The longer I live, the more forklift safety classes I teach and the more accidents I see, I have come to realize that safety is a series of choices.
We literally face hundreds or even thousands of different choices every day of our lives, and many have nothing to do with safety. Most people probably go days, weeks or even months without ever giving a serious thought to safety decisions, but they still make safety related choices — they just don’t realize it.
Some of the safety choices most people face might include:
• Wearing a seatbelt in a car or on a lawn mower
• Wearing a helmet when riding a motorcycle or ATV
• Using safety glasses when working in a shop, using a grass trimmer, etc.
• Keeping hazardous materials such as cleaning solutions and prescription drugs up and away from children
• Driving the speed limit and stopping at red lights and stop signs
• Securing young children in special safety car seats
• Keeping electrical appliances away form tubs, sinks, pools, etc.
Just as in industry, if someone chooses not to do things the safe way, there may not be someone there to require them to do it correctly. Most people know the potential consequences of not doing these things, but many feel the chances of having to pay the price are so remote that they don’t really need to worry. Unfortunately, hospital emergency rooms are full of people who though the same exact thing and turned out to be wrong.
Whether you are at home, at work or operating a forklift, you need to consider several things:
1) Realize you ARE making a safety choice and be AWARE of your options.
2) Fully UNDERSTAND the consequences of picking the wrong choice and understand the true ODDS of it turning out badly over the time frame of a career or a lifetime.
3) Decide, are you willing to PAY the price? Is the risk worth the reward? If I had to jump into fast-moving water or run into a burning house and risk my life to save a family member, I would gladly take that risk because it is worth it to me. Is the benefit of saving a few seconds, but risking your life, worth not fastening your seatbelt?
4) If you are not willing to pay the price in terms of your health, your co-workers’ health or your family’s future, then chose the safe way and eliminate the risk.
(David Hoover is president of Forklift Training Systems. For more information on this or other topics related to forklift training, safety or products, contact David at (740) 763-4978, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit his company’s Web site at www.forklifttrainingsystem.com.)