orienting forklift operators involved in an accident to be safety advocate

Now that you have a safety program in placed, and workers are thorough trained and certified. You have finally met the requirements set forth by OSHA regarding training of forklift operators. The warehouse operation is now running smooth, but an accident has just happened... glad, it is not serious. You have made a report to submit to management recommending those workers involved to undergo a safety retraining, how would you then prepare them to take the training and become safety advocate?

Accident do happened anytime and anywhere, it is unavoidable. The best way to combat occurrence of such incidence is to instill safety to every worker.

When I was working in a construction company in Gulf, I use to give refresher training. It is part of the company’s safety procedure we need to follow. Retraining those workers is vital to prevent recurrence of the accident. I use to train workers involved in near miss accident, property damage incident, Lost Time Injury Accident, Motor Vehicle Accident, and whenever necessary.

If you were working in a depot or warehouse, the most common type of accident you will encounter is property damage and near miss.

Summon the Workers Through a Memo

A memo could cause anxiety for the worker. A worker who is intended to receive the letter could feel fear. He knows he has done something wrong – that is being involved in the accident.

To prevent apprehension, the memo should be addressed to the worker stating what’s the agenda and explain to them that he is required to attend the retraining. Clarify that there is no such penalty that will imposed for being involved in the accident.

Knowing that the worker will not be penalized can relieve his anxiety. The forklift operator will be more receptive to take the letter and attend the training.

Prepare the Topics to be Discussed for the Training

It is not forklift certification course, it is forklift refresher course. How would you then prepare the topics to deliver for the workers?

The very first thing I do when preparing a lesson plan is to learn more about the nature of the accident, who are the workers involved (their age, experience, background, etc.), the type, make and model of the forklift being operated during the accident, the time of the accident and who are those other workers in the vicinity working at the time of the accident.

Knowing the nature of the incident from the accident report submitted by the safety officer in-charge can give you the details what have transpired. Knowing what are the things that contributed to the accident should be discussed during the training so the workers can learn about the things that happened.

Determining the age and level of competence of the workers involved can help you pick more details. Younger workers are more prone to accident because of immaturity. Likewise, incompetent workers should be sent for comprehensive training and scheduled for certification course, if found lacking such knowledge.

You can also discuss the risk and danger for operating that type of forklift (the one being used during the accident) and explain to the workers what could be done to operate it safely.

The time and those other people around working at the time of the accident can be helpful to piece other dangers involved working with them. If it was it at busy time when operation is at full swing the time the accident happened, then you can explain to the workers to be more careful during this time.

Other workers working in the same area can contribute to the accident. Your lesson can comprise of topics about working with other workers. You can also include topic of job scheduling.

Safety Advocacy is Everyone’s Responsibility

The management is spending lots of money for everyone’s safety. Hence, the creation of safety program and hiring manpower like safety officers and trainer. The role of the management is the utmost important for the continuous success of the program. They want workers come to their homes with their limbs still intact.

It doesn’t matter where you are located in the company organization. Aside from your job and responsibility, being safety advocate must your next priority.


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