What is a forklift near-miss?
A forklift near-miss is defined as any unforeseen event that causes a disruption in the workflow; however, it does not cause any injuries or property damage.
During forklift safety training classes, ProLift trainers provide near-miss examples such as:
- Forklift operator slams on brakes to avoid hitting a pedestrian or pallet racking
- Forklift operator does not stop and sound horn at stop sign
- A forklift leak drips oil on the floor, causing a pedestrian to slip but not hit the floor
Forklift Refresher Training
OSHA states “Refresher training, including an evaluation of the effectiveness of that training, shall be conducted as required by paragraph (l)(4)(ii) to ensure that the operator has the knowledge and skills needed to operate the powered industrial truck safely.” Within this paragraph, OSHA further states reasons for conducting refresher training, including when “the operator has been involved in an accident or near-miss incident”.
What refresher training should be provided for a forklift near-miss?
As the company trainer or supervisor, you must address the specific topic that caused the near-miss. In the example of the forklift operator disregarding the stop sign and not sounding the horn, the best practice is to:
- Meet with the operator and describe the near-miss witnessed
- Ask the operator to list 3 reasons why forklifts should stop and sound horn at the stop sign
- Note this near-miss will be considered the first safety infraction and the operator will receive a verbal warning only
- Document the verbal warning and refresher training by recording the forklift operator’s name, details of the near-miss, date of refresher training and who conducted each of these coaching sessions
- Perform an evaluation after refresher training, observing the operator while operating the forklift; Document the evaluation, noting the forklift operator’s name and who conducted the evaluation
Not addressing near-miss occurrences can result in willful OSHA violations, product damage and employee injuries or fatalities. Improve your forklift training skills by attending ProLift’s train-the-trainer, offered at your facility or a ProLift location. Contact our safety specialist for details!Contact Safety Specialist