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Tips for Managing Fatigue of Forklift Operators

Tips for Managing Fatigue of Forklift Operators

When forklift operators feel fatigued, they lack the energy and concentration they need to safely drive the forklift. Fatigued operators create safety issues for all workers near the equipment, and poor handling poses a risk to material goods. Avoid these problems with a few tips for managing fatigue in forklift operators.

1. Schedule Shifts Thoughtfully

In some cases, managers have the power to prevent worker fatigue by scheduling shifts that encourage workers to get a full eight hours of sleep. Insufficient sleep and extended work hours can directly contribute to worker fatigue, and over-working your employees can cause stress and anxiety that exacerbates the problem.

Schedule shifts so workers have enough time to get at least eight hours of sleep. If your employees work 12-hour shifts, provide 24 hours off between shifts.

2. Talk to Workers

Another tip for managing the fatigue of forklift operators is to talk to the workers directly. Honest conversations about any issues can help you problem-solve together.

You can’t control factors outside of your facility, but if you learn about issues at your site, you can adjust operations to make the situation better. For example, after talking to your workers, you might find that allowing short naps in the break room could fix the problem. If this small change improves performance and safety, it would be a worthwhile adjustment for your facility.

Another great idea is to cycle workers through different jobs. Repetitive tasks can create a dangerous lull that makes it hard for people to focus. Give employees an array of tasks to tackle to help keep up the energy.

3. Improve Equipment

Adjusting practices isn’t the only change you can make at your facility. Sometimes, improving your equipment can assist in fighting off worker fatigue. Consider installing better lighting, or more lights in more areas, to promote wakefulness.

Also, when it’s time to replace a forklift or buy a new forklift, consider getting an electric-powered machine. Electric forklifts produce fewer vibrations that contribute to worker fatigue, and they have features that make them easier to operate, such as improved rear visibility. Safeguarding your employees’ well-being is just one of the ways that an electric forklift can save you money.

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