Safety Habits - Forklift

Developing Good Safety Habits

Safety Habits Outside of the Workplace

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Have you ever watched someone walk out of the supermarket, and without even looking for vehicles, step right into the parking lot and begin walking towards their car? I think we’ve all witnessed this a time or two. Maybe there are a few of us brave enough to admit being one of those distracted and careless shoppers who’s put our life in the hands of a stranger whom we expect to be paying attention. I know I’ve done it and that’s a scary thought.

I see this happen all too often and it makes me think of how easily we can become disconnected to our surroundings, and how the potentially catastrophic consequences are just an afterthought. Think about it for a minute. While most people don’t drive faster than 5 or 10 MPH in a parking lot or in front of a store’s entrance, I’ve still seen a few people exceed that. They would never have time to stop if someone walked out in front of them. If you were teaching your children, or anyone you truly care about how to safely navigate a busy parking lot, I’m sure you would want them to develop good safety habits like making eye contact with the people behind the wheel to ensure that they are being noticed and acknowledged.

Inside of the Workplace

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Like many out-of-work scenarios, we can use this example to help us become more aware while at work. For much of the day, our production floors (as well as yours I’m sure) have personnel operating forklifts, man-lifts, and a variety of cranes to complete their work. While we train our equipment operators to always remain aware and give pedestrians the right-of-way, I’d imagine everyone agrees that it’s much easier and safer for our pedestrians to stay out of the line-of-fire than it is to have an operator attempt to stop a heavy piece of equipment without much notice.

By putting real effort into building good habits you can reduce risk caused by complacency. All of us become complacent from time to time, and no one can tell you what you should work on… Unless it’s looking for cars before walking out of the store, everyone should do that!

Developing good habits doesn’t take too much work either, just pick one thing, like making eye contact with forklift and crane operators before you walk into the area. Once this becomes a habit, start to work on a new one.

It’s easy, we just need to realize that there is improvement to be made and that we all can get a little better at preventing accidents by putting a little effort into improving our daily habits.

Check out more posts in our safety series here.

Guest post by Dave Suchey, Health, Safety, and Environment Manager at Metalwest