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Do My Operators Need To Wear Their Seat Belts?

  • Manufacturing
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It is essential for all operators to wear seat belts. However, unlike for cars, forklift seat belts are not meant to protect the driver from collisions. Their aim is to protect the operator from being crushed or trapped when the truck tips over. Overturning poses a big threat and is a leading cause of deaths among lift truck operators. Studies show that overturning is responsible for one out of every six deaths.

When a lift truck starts tipping over, most drivers think of jumping out to save their lives. In this process the driver may get crushed between the lift truck and the ground. The seat belts will prevent the driver from jumping thus saving him from getting crushed. When a truck overturns, the driver will be safe if he stays in the cabin with a safety belt on. The safety belt will ensure that one doesn’t jump off or fall underneath when the forklift tips over.

Do my operators need to wear their seatbelts?The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does not have specific rules regarding operators and seat belts. However, if your forklifts don’t have driver’s seat belt, the OSHA can mandate you to install them. In addition, OSHA requires employers to protect their employees from recognized hazards. Crushing and entrapment are serious hazards and so if you own a truck you should ensure that there are safety belts or operator restraint systems to protect operators from such hazards.

OSHA requires operators to wear seat belts when working. It is the duty of the employer to ensure that the seat belts are worn at all times. If forklifts Toronto operators do not wear seat belts, the company will be cited for failure to comply with the OSHA standards that require employers to protect their employees from recognized hazards. The employer may be required to pay a penalty for failing to comply.

Ignoring the OSHA recommendations and failing to wear safety belts is dangerous and both the employer and employee will be held accountable. For employees, even if one is not fined, they may end up with serious damages and lose their source of livelihood. Employers can be fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for failing to stress on the importance of safety precautions to their employees. In the year 2008, OSHA proposed a fine of $119,500 against a company that failed to adhere to safety regulations. Thus, employers need to emphasize on this so as to keep employees safe and avoid fines.

In addition to educating the operators, the company can also employ the use of intelligent systems that alert the management when the seat belt is not worn. For some systems, the lift truck will not start unless the operator is wearing a seat belt. It’s a good investment that will protect the employees and the company’s property.

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