There is a common myth that one doesn’t need to use a seat belt unless it is specified during a risk assessment. This myth doesn’t hold because not wearing a seat belt is a rare exception to the rule and this isn’t something that should be taken lightly.

The restraining systems are fitted in the forklift and are meant to be used, as suggested by the Health and Safety Executive.

Many forklift operators prefer not to wear a seatbelt, but it is advised to keep your safety a priority and reduce the risks of accidents and harm to oneself.  

The seatbelt, if not worn, must have a good justification based on a thorough, realistic risk assessment and this requires a combination of factors to be in place that reduces the risk of a forklift truck tip over.

Minimizing the effects

As with any other vehicle, if you don’t wear a seatbelt it won’t cause any sort of accident but if an accident does happen, it can minimize a catastrophe. In cars, the seatbelt prevents the driver from the wheel or the windscreen in the event of a collision but as forklift operates at a slower speed than cars, many operators question the need to use them.

However, when the forklift trucks become unstable, they can tip over and eject the forklift operator. If an operator doesn’t put on the seatbelts, the operator can fall or can be thrown off. Sometimes when the forklift is tipping over, the operator will try to get out of it, this can increase the risk of getting caught under the truck. This trapping can be dangerous and is also known as mouse-trapping.

This can be prevented from happening if the operator has the seatbelts on. This can stop the operator from jumping free from the truck or sliding off their seat as well (As it’s a roll-over protection system or ROPs).

Many fatal injuries are caused because operators are unaware of the importance of seatbelts.

Operators carrying out similar tasks in their day-to-day life may become comfortable and ignore a few of the safety measures. If this happens, it’s the duty of the manager to step in and challenge bad practices.

To ensure that work is carried out safely, the operators must be reminded that this could minimize the consequences for them. Making seatbelts part of the company policy is crucial.

Refresher forklift training in Mississauga from CN Forklift Training ensures that operators enhance and improve their skills.

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