The Proper Warehouse Attire to Wear on a Forklift
“DRESS FOR SUCCESS.”
The saying applies to Wall Street businessmen, top executives, and other office-type jobs.
And while a forklift driver doesn’t need a suit and tie to perform his or her job, it’s still a good idea to dress the part in the proper warehouse attire. In fact, safety clothing is essential to succeeding in your career as an equipment operator. When it comes to operating forklifts, the right equipment, tools, and clothing can keep you safe and prevent injuries and fatalities.
Warehouse Attire Rules for Forklift Operators
Let’s review the ideal clothes to wear while driving or operating a forklift. This applies to truck loaders, warehouse workers, dockyard hands and all other forklift jobs.
1) Check your employer’s policy on clothes. Your boss may require uniforms and other unique clothing. Uniforms are sometimes supplied by an outside company, while for other jobs, uniforms are the responsibility of the worker.
2) Don’t skip the safety clothing. For some warehouse and dockyard jobs (along with other forklift drivers), the required warehouse attire includes reflective or bright clothes. These clothes let other people know that heavy-duty machines are in use. If you are required to wear safety clothes and fail to wear them, you might be told to leave your forklift and return with the proper clothes. This category can also include safety goggles.
3) Keep it loose, but not too loose. Forklift drivers need to be comfortable throughout the day. Tight-fitting clothes are not an ideal choice, so it’s a good idea to wear lightweight clothes that are durable yet comfortable.
4) Remember the hats and gloves. Beyond your pants, shirts, shoes, and jackets, your job might need gloves or hats. Some forklift drivers work in refrigerated or freezer warehouses, where temperatures can go below zero degrees. Stay warm!
The Right Types of Clothing to Wear on a Forklift
Now that you know of the basic warehouse attire rules for forklift operators, you may be wondering what type of clothing you specifically are required or recommended to wear.
Eye and Face Protection
- Safety glasses or face shields should be worn anytime work tasks may involve foreign objects getting into the eyes of workers, such as when working with concrete or around harmful chemicals.
- Construction and warehouse workers should wear shoes or boots that are made with slip-resistant traction and puncture-resistant soles
- Safety-toed footwear should be worn to prevent toes being crushed when working with heavy objects or falling objects. This is an especially important warehouse attire piece for forklift operators who work with heavy load handling every day, and who are at risk of tip-over and falling object hazards.
- Workers need snug-fitting gloves to protect hands and prevent any grease or oils from getting on the forklift controls.
- Heavy-duty rubber gloves are needed for concrete work, welding gloves for welding, insulated gloves and sleeves when exposed to electrical hazards. Each of these situations may be present on a worksite or inside a warehouse where forklift operators are working.
- Workers should wear hard hats when there is a falling object hazard present in the workplace. Proper warehouse attire definitely includes hard hats.
- Hard hats should be routinely inspected for defects and maintained to be in good condition.
Requirements for Personal Protection Equipment
According to OSHA, personal protection equipment (PPE), which includes eye, head, and extremity protection, must be provided and maintained in a sanitary and good condition whenever it is necessary.
Employers are required to provide personal protection equipment for their employees, but if workers supply their own, employers are responsible for assuring its adequacy and proper maintenance. PPE for forklifts includes warehouse attire, like hard hats, gloves, and reflective clothing.
Employers must inspect the workplace and determine if hazards are present that require the use of PPE. If hazards are present, employers must provide the appropriate PPE for each employee, communicate the hazards, confirm that the workplace hazard assessment has been performed and that any defective or damaged equipment is not being used.
Employees must also receive training to teach them when PPE is necessary, which type of PPE is necessary, how to wear PPE properly, the limitations of PPE, and how to care for and maintain PPE. Employers must confirm that employees have the understanding and skills to use PPE properly, and if they don’t, they must provide retraining.
The Benefits of Wearing Proper Safety Clothing
The top causes of forklift-related injuries and fatalities are tip-overs, struck by, and crushed by accidents. Forklifts often operate inside warehouses, in tight spaces and narrow aisles. The chances of hitting an object, a warehouse shelving unit, or an on-foot worker are high in these cases and it’s important for both pedestrians and operators to wear proper warehouse attire. The use of a hard hat can protect your head if an object falls from a top shelf or pallet rack, and if your forklift tipped over. Reflective clothing can alert your position to other forklift operators and pedestrians, and safety goggles can keep your vision and line of sight clear when working indoors or outside in a construction zone. Each of these small but essential safety clothing items can help prevent accidents and protect workers’ lives.
Where to Receive Forklift Certification and Learn More about Proper Safety Clothing
ForkliftCertification.com is your #1 source for online forklift training courses. We have 3 different programs: Train the Trainer, Forklift Training & Certification Kit, and our Bundle Package.
Our Forklift Training & Certification course covers warehouse forklifts, pallet jacks and order pickers, and rough terrain forklifts. You will learn everything you need to know to operate all types of forklifts safely, perform equipment inspections, assess the environment for hazards, and understand the tools and types of safety clothing and warehouse attire needed to prevent accidents. You will also be OSHA-compliant and will be able to print your certificate immediately after completing the online course.
Each course is designed by professional forklift drivers and helps you (and your company) become OSHA-compliant. OSHA is always looking for safety violations, and these can include clothing and attire for forklift drivers. Don’t take any changes – call us today! We can be reached at (888) 278-8896, or you can send a message or request a quote on our contact page.
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