If you work in a warehouse setting or in the construction industry, you may operate a forklift from time to time. Even if this isn’t your job, there may be situations in which you’re in close proximity to a moving forklift.

Although forklifts make many tasks easier, it’s critical to remember one thing: A mistake of any kind can result in a serious workplace accident.

All forklift operators should follow these seven safety tips at all times:

  • Inspect the forklift before use: If you find any defects or damage, notify your supervisor and ensure that no one uses the forklift until it’s repaired.
  • Know your company’s safety procedures: There are safety procedures in place to help avoid trouble when operating a forklift. If you’re not familiar with these, review them before the next time you get in the driver’s seat. If you have questions, ask your supervisor for clarification.
  • Always wear a seat belt: Even the most experienced forklift operators could be part of an accident. A seat belt can protect you against serious injury.
  • Watch for other forklifts and workers: You have a job to do, and so does everyone else on the worksite. Keep your eyes open for other forklifts and workers, as you never know when someone could get in your way.
  • Don’t lift too much: Knowing what your forklift is capable of lifting is imperative, as taking on a load that’s too heavy can cause an accident.
  • Never lift people: It sounds like a great way to have fun at work. It also sounds like a great way to transport your co-workers around the job site. Regardless, lifting people with a forklift is a big no-no.
  • Obey speed limits: Even if you’re in a hurry, obey all speed limits when operating a forklift. Just the same as a motor vehicle, driving too fast increases the risk of an accident.

These forklift safety tips will help you avoid trouble on the job site. If you’re ever involved in a forklift accident, stop what you’re doing and assess yourself for injuries.

From there, administer first aid, call 911 if necessary and report the accident to your supervisor. Doing all of these things will position you to receive workers’ compensation benefits should you be unable to immediately return to work.