In a recent blog post, I described an experience at a food and clothing bank where I volunteer in which I nearly had my leg cut open by a forklift. I hoped that I wouldn’t see any more blog content during my time there, but sadly another incident (two incidents, in fact) has already occurred that highlights an important workplace health and safety topic.
A 22-year old employee at the bank recently completed forklift certification and has been eager to gain experience behind the wheel. Thus far, he had done a good job at safely operating the vehicle by following all of the techniques he learned in training and advice we’ve given him. However, just 10 minutes into my warehouse shift yesterday I was guiding him as he moved a double-stacked pallet of clothing onto a truck when suddenly the top pallet began to shift and lean. I immediately called for him to drop the load so that he could readjust and stabilize the stack, but he panicked in his reaction and pulled the wrong lever, which instead moved the forks horizontally and further imbalanced the weight. Thankfully I had plenty of time to get out of the way as the pallets, easily weighing several hundred pounds each, came crashing down.